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Reading the Love Letters




'...they should learn how to read the love letters sent by the wind and rain, the snow and moon.' (Ikkyu)

Every day, all around me, I am surrounded by love letters. How often do I miss them? I try to see them but, often, I realize the moment too late to be fully present.

It rained yesterday - a lot. It started early in the morning and lasted until late in the afternoon. The park behind my home was restored to the wetlands it once had been. There were even ducks swimming in the puddles.


Earlier in the morning, I donned my rubber boots, rain jacket and hat to take the dog out for his walk. My dog is not keen of the rain. In fact, my dog hates the rain. The temperature was in that spot where the rain feels cold to the bone. It is not my favorite either but, alas, the dog needed to go out to do his business.


I stepped out into the steady fall of the rain and felt a little groan welling up inside me. I would have much rather stayed in the dry, warm house. We walked through the puddles that had formed on the paved path, the water washing over the tops of my feet. The dog resisted my tug on the leash.


And then, I looked up. The rain dripped from the brim of my hat. I could see the steadiness of the rain, the complex shades of gray in the clouds, the piece of sky that was glowing from the backlight of the sun. It was beautiful. I thought for a moment what a gift this rain is. Rain cleanses, nourishes, helps growth, fills reservoirs and aquifers - rain brings water and water brings life. And here in this moment, Ikkyu's words filled my mind: 'read the love letters sent by the wind and rain, the snow and moon.' The rain was a love letter.


What are the love letters around you? Perhaps it is the smile of a friend or child, a heart-felt apology, a touch of comfort, a sunrise, birdsong, rain on the window or the presence of a beloved. We have love letters around us everyday.


For this next week, what if you took notice of the love letters around you? What if you offered love letters to others. We don't need to write long letters of love and affection (although if you are called to do so follow the call!). We can offer ourselves, like nature offers us the rain, wind, snow and moon. Nature showers us with her gifts - her love letters to us. What could you offer as your love letters?


Peace and blessings,

Mary

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