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It is raining. Pouring. Again! For weeks now it has rained just about every day. The entire Northeast is inundated with more rain than we can possibly deal with.

In the best of times, precipitation is seen as beneficent, raining down life-sustaining liquids for our benefit. And then we are grateful, or ought to be.

But there is such a thing as too much of a good thing. We are nearly drowning in the stuff. Saturated, soaked, sogged. Completely waterlogged. Rivers rushing down city streets, the drains overflowing. Towns, fields and highways flooded. Dams, bridges, houses and lives swept irrevocably away. And the predicted storms arenít over yet.

People have long believed that bad weather is some kind of vengeful divine retribution. Punishment for our earthly misbehavior. Certainly in the face of extreme hardship, this is a tempting response, based, perhaps, on guilt. But, of course, weather is weather, a neutral force. Our perception of whether it is good or bad is based solely and myopically on our own immediate inconvenience.

But maybe this rain is not aimed at us. Maybe Mother Earth is engaged in a deep purification ritual, a much needed purging of Her soiled body and profound pain. Picture Her, like any rape victim standing under a pounding shower for hours, days and weeks, trying to wash away the dirt and degradation that we have heaped upon Her so mercilessly.

Or maybe She is weeping, sobbing, down pouring tears of sad disappointment in us, Her errant, arrogant offspring, so rude and disrespectful. After all, just look at what we gave the Poor Old Dear for Motherís Day in gratitude for all of Her great gifts to us: greenhouse gases, radiation, drilling, missile tests, oil spills and chemical trails.

Or this is a watery warning, perhaps. A reminder to appreciate the present and prepare for the future. To re-enforce our roofs, buy Wellington boots and build a safe, waterproof ark where we can collect, preserve and protect, two by two, all of our best intentions and human qualities: hope and love, charity and understanding, forgiveness and peace, compassion and reverence for all life.

About the author:
Donna Henes is an internationally renowned urban shaman, eco- ceremonialist, spiritual counselor, award-winning author, popular speaker and workshop leader. Mama Donna, as she is affectionately known, is the author of four books and a CD. She is a columnist for UPI Religion and Spirituality Forum. In addition to teaching and lecturing worldwide, she maintains a ceremonial center, spirit shop, ritual practice and consultancy where she works with individuals and groups to create personally relevant rituals for all of life's transitions.


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