My shivering dog draping himself over me
like a quaking blanket, pride abandoned,
driven to anxiety by the sound of thunder
rumbling overhead for most of this week, sometimes
bringing rain, sometimes just a threat. And for all with pets,
this entire week holds more of the same–
the neighborhood will echo with the report of
fireworks and hopefully not gunfire
at least through the sixth of July.
“Domine non est
exaltatum cor meum…”
But the sky right now is exactly the color of a bruise,
matching the one inflicted on me as
he pawed me last night to make the insufferable
thunder stop. Stevie Nicks once
famously sang, “Thunder only happens when it’s raining.”
She was wrong. But Kobe believes her. His first owners
left him outside in all weather, and thunder is a memory
of being swept into wind and downpour
with no chance of shelter. Thunder is the memory
of storms and cruelties long past,
the menace fresh, the carelessness vivid.
Don’t we all know the weight of helplessness
when hoping in God is all there is?
So into the basement we descend. I will
sit next to him, the press of my body and
Bach cello suites by Ma in attempted comfort,
notes gliding and bouncing exactly like rain,
the blare of the C string masking the thunder
perhaps enough that he can be quieted and rest.
And sleep will come and breath will ease
for all afraid yet drawn into love’s leeward side,
like a child upon his mother’s shoulder
asleep on a damp cheek,
sliding gratefully into open-hearted trust,
elusive too often for the proud and haughty self
I too often wear like armor.
I wait upon you gratefully, O Mothering God,
and rest upon you as the storms
within and without subside.
I have no need to walk in mighty matters
for the reward in my soul
is your abundant lovingkindness and mercy–
more than enough.
The Rev. Leslie Scoopmire is a writer, musician, and a priest in the Diocese of Missouri. She is rector of St. Martin’s Episcopal Church in Ellisville, MO. She posts daily prayers, meditations, and sermons at her blog Abiding In Hope, and collects spiritual writings and images at Poems, Psalms, and Prayers.