Traveling Mercies

I am in the dining room, looking out the window at the rain. It is pounding heavy on the roof and pooling up on the ground. More than three inches yesterday, and expected to continue until tomorrow morning. But I am in the dining room, and it is outside. I am thinking back a couple of weeks to the last rain of this caliber. We were in the car.

Driving in  the pounding rain is surely stressful for everyone. We do it so frequently it sometimes loses its impact. Other times we are reminded how quickly conditions can change and how fragile a car can be. So as usual, we are in the car heading to a show. We had agreed to play a brand new festival, agreed knowing all the perils of a new festival. Of course there would be issues, of course there might not be a good crowd, but of course we would contribute what we could to grow the audience for live music. We would book a show on either side of the festival and all would be well. Except that another commitment prevented us from booking something after the fest. No worries. As we approached the date, the other surrounding show cancelled. Unavoidable. So now we were driving to one date, several hours away, knowing that it will not be financially worthwhile, perhaps not spiritually worthwhile.

And it starts to rain. A little at first. Then a downpour. Hour after hour. We see the remnants of accidents on the road… a car buried up to its axles in the median, another two crumpled together off the side of the road. We begin to wonder what we are doing out here. Really isn’t this some cosmic sign that we have taken a wrong turn in our business lives? It’s not bad enough that we make a pretty meager living, now we should risk our safety for it? Is that what the universe is saying?

Up ahead it is a little lighter and brighter. The sky begins to glow just a bit, and then there is a rainbow. And then another. A double rainbow. It lasts a good long time. Aidan takes a ton of pictures through the rainy windshield of a moving car. To you it would look like wet blurry color smears. To us it looks like hope. As we approach Richmond, at rush hour, the rain stops completely. We sail uneventfully past the city. On the other side the rain starts again.

I don’t know what the universe is saying. Perhaps it’s a language I don’t speak. But I know what I am hearing. I am thankful for traveling mercies, and we keep driving.

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