Buddhism in the rainy season…

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Kwan Yin (Kuan Im), Sino-Thai Bodhisattva

I love the rainy season. I like the clouds. I like the mist. I like the coolness in the air, evaporative, just add breeze to activate, to keep the heat at bay, to keep the house at beach, and the fever below boiling, to keep the hands out of reach of the hard stuff…

This is the sweet spot, from God’s own hand and Nature’s own palette, automatically activating and infinitely adjustable, in imperfect synchronicity with the hard heavy hot dry season that precedes it, just begging for relief and thirsting for succor…

These are the tropics, where every day is the same but for the thick gray blanket that slides back and forth letting the sun shine in or letting the heat out, like the foam on a head of pale ale that seems to act independently of the frothy sea beneath it…

It’s almost as if there were some signal from above, or some conductor’s baton, or some director’s cue, and all of a sudden the stage hands come in and strike the set, removing summer crops and beachy props and replacing them with rice fields all waiting…

Then the rains come in and drench the parched fields, fill the sparse rivers, and feed the famished affections, offering assurance that there will be fruits galore, and veggies in store, and cereals for the not-too-distant taking…

Enjoy it while it lasts, because life comes with no guarantees, least of all in matters of love and weather, whether whatever wherever. You take what you can find where you find it and leave the rest for someone with less, for there will always be more for the giving…

The rainy season is like that, uncontrolled and uncontrollable, just barely predictable and suitable for framing, but don’t go blaming it on Mother Nature, she’s as baffled by it all as the rest of us are, and as helpless to do anything about it…

If only it were true, then that would be nice…

If only there were a Sky Father and an Earth Mother, Dyaus Pita and Prithvi Mata, to get us up in the morning and put us to bed at night, just like in the fairy tales and nursery rhymes, Wee Willie Winkie running through town, upstairs and downstairs in his night gown…

If only there were some benevolent uber-creator and some caring nurturing meta-mother, who always make the right decisions and always make the beds, and always make the best-laid plans for mice and rice, such that they could see even in 500 BCE that the problem of surviving on this earth…

Would be totally separate from the problem of thriving, which by that time was almost assured, the population having multiplied quickly since the age of culture and agriculture, now the problem mostly one of leaving peaceably together…

And it’s been the same throughout history: once the basic needs are met, then our spirit-selves go to all Hell, and we get to play out our own little personalities against the movie screen of life, fake fictitious and artificial…

That vast green screen upon which our own little personal computer-brains generate imagery that we deem appropriate to this and all situations, character generated images for that great luxury the Future, something we’d never had before, back when life was hard and jobs were few, begging for mercy and misericordia…

This is Buddhism, in training, this is west Oregon in winter, or west New Zealand, the land of eternal rainfall, and the nicest people in the world, where sprouts spring eternal, and hope lies in a perpetual fall, awaiting a signal from above, that all is okay, and we can come out and play now…

But not TOO much rain, please, Sky Father or Earth Mother, either or both, if you’re listening, 51% should be just about right, any more than that will just upset the balance of power within us and without, the balance of darkness and light, passion and action, passivity and aggression, and I just might have to leave this God-forsaken town, this much-too-rainy village, for some place drier, some place more equal, some place right around the corner, some place as yet unimagined, some place deep inside, as long as it is on the right path, between extremes of the desert, the city and the deep blue sea…