The Light of a Dawn Rain

All day the stars watch from long ago
my mother said I am going now
when you are alone you will be all right
whether or not you know you will know
look at the old house in the dawn rain
all the flowers are forms of water
the sun reminds them through a white cloud
touches the patchwork spread on the hill
the washed colors of the afterlife
that lived there long before you were born
see how they wake without a question
even though the whole world is burning

~W.S. Merwin “Rain Light”

My childhood fear was that my parents might die young and leave me alone to fend for myself. This fear was certainly fed by nuclear threats, bomb drills at school and the Cuban missile crisis. It felt as though the world was so uncertain that even the most routine day felt fraught with the potential of a tragic ending. As an overly-sensitive eight year old, I struggled to go to school because I was certain I would not see my mother again if bombs dropped and the world ended in fire. That prospect was more terrifying than my own life ending.

It took time, and my mother’s constant reassurance, for me to settle into the reality that life is an uncertain business. Whether or not I would know what may happen that day, I would know to look for beauty and peace and renewal. Many days started with morning rain, a quiet washing away of the night’s worries and frets.

Decades later, I would be okay when she left, which she did, at dawn. I came to sit beside her for a short time, knowing she was gone, knowing I would be all right, and knowing she had given me the tools to look each uncertain day in the eye and accept it for what it was going to be.

Now, for nearly seventy years, I wake and look out at these uncertain dawns. Even though I do not know what will come next, I have been given the gift of reassurance that I will be all right.

And so will you.


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3 thoughts on “The Light of a Dawn Rain

  1. Thank you for the reassurance in your message. We are facing health challenges in our family and your words are a comfort and affirmation that “all will be well”, that I will be well with whatever happens. I’m grateful for your sharing.
    Evergreen, CO

    Liked by 1 person

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