File:Rain drops on window 02 ies.jpg
Rain drops on a window by Frank Vincentz, Wikimedia Creative Commons

As a child my parents took us on lots of long car journeys.  We lived several hours away from my grandmother, and whenever we wanted to visit her my parents would pack the car and my brother and me, and off we would go.  I spent a lot of time listening to a Sony Walkman (for younger readers, it’s a sort of MP3 player!) and staring out the window.  One thing that really stands out in my mind is a memory of watching raindrops travelling down the windowpane.

Sitting and watching raindrops is not an important thing to do it seems.  Droplets of rain land on the glass, then wind and the movement of the car make them roll down the glass, they meet one another, coalesce, and roll to the bottom of the pane.  I spent hours watching those raindrops, just sitting and watching them, daydreaming and passing the time.  It was a peaceful, warm feeling.  My dad might have been playing an old Neil Diamond tape, or I might have been listening to a story on my Walkman.  Now that I am a busy mother of three, I wish I had more time to simply watch raindrops (goodness knows there’s enough of them here in Wales!).

So today’s post is a request to myself and to others that we all spend a few moments sitting and watching those raindrops.  How many raindrops have fallen, and we have missed them, because we are rushing around buying presents, wrapping presents, writing cards…?  How much of our days have we spent absorbed in our own thoughts, some of them distressing and unhappy?  How many of us have had our share of joys and sorrows in 2011 and wonder what 2012 will bring?  When things are difficult, stressful and unhappy I recommend an escape to a wet window pane for a moment of peace.

It sounds so simplistic. And though it is simple, simplistic it is not.  Sitting and watching raindrops is important work.  To tap into our creativity, we need certain conditions– a relaxed mind is one of them.  To feel centred and well we need those moments of thinking of nothing else but the simple path that a raindrop follows. It doesn’t seem like work, but I would call it “worthy work” because those quiet, gentle moments give us a chance to take a breather from all that life throws at us and to take a step on the journey inward.

We all need time to simply be.  The signs that we are running on empty are clear: we get a cold, feel fatigued or short-tempered, everything comes out of perspective, and our minds feel full of so many things that we simply can’t keep up.  The body, mind and spirit are desperate for tranquility and we wonder when we will ever get it.  “Once Christmas comes, everything will be fine,” we say. Or, “once the children break up from school we will finally be able to rest.” (That’s the one I have been saying for weeks!)  But rest and tranquillity are available to us every day, in every moment.  A breath, the beauty of a flock of sparrows having a bath in a puddle, the smile and hello from a stranger, a raindrop rolling down the windowpane… all of these are opportunities– a call, if you like, to be here in the present moment, to shut the door on all that is pulling us into the future or into the past.

My children give me a golden opportunity to exit the world of my thoughts and be present to this moment.  On the way home from school, as I found myself thinking about the same situation over and over again, I meditated on my child: the soft touch of his small hand in mine, the sight of the wind blowing through his inexplicably yellow fluffy hair, the sound of his high-pitched, earnest voice as he pointed out the usual landmarks (tree! bird! doggie!) and his small feet tapped the earth as he ran.  The soft, cozy feeling of watching raindrops fall came back to me as I slowed down and noticed all that was around me and the beauty that stares me in the face every day, which I am often too busy to notice.  There is a whole world beyond the windowpane, but sometimes slowing down enough to watch those raindrops makes everything clearer.

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Watching raindrops
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12 thoughts on “Watching raindrops

  • 15/12/2011 at 1:41 pm
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    Good advice, Lisa – thanks.

    I always liked the phrase “Be here now”, although it’s been ruined for me slightly by Oasis…

    • 16/12/2011 at 7:43 pm
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      Hi Kirsten,
      Thanks again for commenting and spending the time to read.
      Love,
      Lisa

  • 15/12/2011 at 2:39 pm
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    So, so true Lisa. Sometimes life seems to be going at such a fast pace that I guess we forget to look around us and BREATHE……….life is precious and wonderful, and not to be rushed. Gx

    • 16/12/2011 at 7:42 pm
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      Hi Gemma,
      One thing I have been thinking about is the number of people I know who feel that much of their lives are not precious and wonderful… so many people are living with pain and sadness. Watching those raindrops is an invitation to find beauty and stillness in an unstable world.
      Thanks for always taking the time to read and comment.
      Love,
      Lisa

  • 15/12/2011 at 6:14 pm
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    lovely, I too was a raindrop watcher from the back of a herald triumph and i’d forgotten how long it had been. It seems that in modern life the holidays have actually become just as busy as the work times

    I think that this is why having a new born is such a special time, the babys needs absolutely demand attention and won’t fit a schedule so all bets are off and you have to give in and what a relief it is to prioritise simple but important things such as affection , good food and togetherness. It is really easy to feel like you constantly haven’t done everything but perhaps if you are all safe and happy then you have x

    Thanks Lisa for five minutes to think

    • 16/12/2011 at 7:41 pm
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      Thanks Ang for making a really important point about what a unique time it is when we have a baby…how life slows down and we totally lose ourselves in the needs of the little one. And I could have guessed that you were a raindrop watcher too. Snowflakes are quite good as well!
      Love,
      Lisa

  • 16/12/2011 at 1:19 pm
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    One of my favorite memories from my childhood is watching the rain through our kitchen screen door. My mom would be busy working in the kitchen and she’d let the door stand open while it rained. I loved watching the rain fall from heavy clouds – large, thick drops that seems to pour straight down from the skies. Afterward, I would walk through the lush, wet grass, feeling the cool wetness of the blades between my toes.

    Thank God for those cleansing rains – and those memories.

    • 16/12/2011 at 7:40 pm
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      Thanks Mom for these lovely images! They could only be improved upon by Neil Diamond playing in the background I think!
      Love,
      Lisa

  • 17/12/2011 at 5:12 am
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    Lisa
    You never stop to amaze me. You recall that time very vividly as if it is yesterday.
    I still play Neil Diamond music. It always reminds me of when we passed a truck & you turned around with big smile & gave the driver a thumbs up. He honked for you.
    I do not miss the rain but I miss you. 

    • 17/12/2011 at 8:13 am
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      Thanks dad! My not-so-secret admirer! Lisa

  • 27/12/2011 at 1:06 am
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    Hi Lisa, you are so right, “We all need time to simply be”. Christmas fever has hit, it feels like being in a spiral from which there is no escape. Finding a moment to Simply Be is the make or break difference between meltdown and coping.

    • 31/12/2011 at 6:01 pm
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      Hi Cath,
      I do so hope you get some quiet time this Christmas and New Year. You are the centre of the storm!
      Love,
      Lisa

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