IT’S RAINING   by Maureen Muldoon

It’s raining and on my morning prayer calls, I hear a mother cry. A child has left the world and she/we struggle with the shock and confusion as she pushed forth the story that weighs too much. She pauses and buckles, and heaves in her delivery.

It’s raining and I try and reach for words and wisdom that I stumbled across on sunnier days when they were easier to reach. I rush around my mind like a frantic midwife, “boil the water, get me the towels. It’s time!”

It’s raining and we settle on a prayer, an offering for children who leave too early and for mothers who are left and for the slight and subtle signposts that lurk like shadows in the pain. “Keep breathing” they say.

It’s raining and the world looks blurry and my faith is damp and we pray for courage and strength and wisdom. But I feel the tremble through the line like the early warnings of a train. Her heart is breaking open and because I am sitting so close, my own heart rattles, I feel the shaking in my shoulders and try to hold steady.

It’s raining and she moans and sobbing and my heart cracks like thunder and I lose my words and I lose my way, it all gets washed off. And then there is only silence and the pitter patter of water on the window.

It’s raining and compassion comes unbidden like an exhale, it seems to solve nothing, its arrival is meet with a smear of disdain as we stand in the wreckage of the storm looking out at the world.

I am anchored by reverent awe that creeps in as I hear her breath through the phone.

That tells me, “I am is still here.”

My breath on the lines answers with, “I am still here too.”

We sit in the silence.

It’s raining.