Stillness as a Simple Spiritual Practice

Stillness is sometimes the best response to something that feels like a disappointment.
Case in point…True story. Happened today. Totally a spiritual experience.

It rains here in Jamaica. Often. We’re on a tropical island, and the richness of the greens, browns, and all the other colors that bring the tropic vibe to this place can only happen if it’s getting plenty of water.

The rains this time of year tend to be hard and fast. Four full minutes of pounding rain, then crickets. Literally. Loud, creaky-whistling noises that if raised a few decibels, would serve as a really effective alarm.

On this particular day, the rains came late at night, but the morning was sunshine-y and calm. I checked the weather report, and no rain was slated for the rest of the day. Cool.

We’re a family of four, so we always, always have laundry to do. I put some clothes and sheets in the washing machine, and planned to put them on the line in the backyard to dry. I love hanging clothes on the line and looking at them from my bedroom window. It reminds me of my grandmothers, and of the reality that sunshine and breeze can be big allies for important things like clean clothes. That makes me smile.

Today was no different. I hung the clothes and the sheets, and came back inside to start on my regular morning writing and reading rituals.

Not 20 minutes into my process…RAIN. Big ‘ole fat rain. Chubby rain even (where my Bowfinger fans at?—lol!).

My first thought was to race outside and take the clothes off the line. You might not know this if your clothes-hanging game isn’t tight like mine, but rain on clean clothes doesn’t just equal wet clothes. Nope, ’cause when get drenched in rain and they don’t get a thorough drying, the rain leaves dark stains sometimes, and gives the clothes a funky smell. Not funky, as in funky fresh, but funky as in fun-kay na-stay.

But I didn’t rush out. I was still. I let the rain do its thing, and I continued doing mine. I griped about it for a second, and shook my head in disappointment at God (I guess. uh-oh!), but I did all of those things while my booty was planted on my bed. I watched the clothes get drenched for a minute, then I went back to what I was doing.

I don’t know how long it rained for, but I do know that when it stopped, the sun was brighter than it was before the rain started. As I type this at around 2:30 our time, the sun and the breeze are ensuring that the clothes get a thorough drying.

Had I rushed out to (be the opposite of still) and yanked the clothes off the line, I’d have more work to do, and more to complain about. But I chose to be still, and I don’t even know why, to be honest. I just felt that, and honored that. And I’m about to take the clothes off the line shortly, because by the looks of things, they’re dry.

See the soulwork and the strategy? Listening inward and honoring it, even when you’re not sure why. We don’t always have to resolve our feelings. Sometimes, we can feel them, honor them, and choose stillness.

Stillness can be its own solution. I get that now in a real way that I can connect to and utilize. I’m grateful for that, and I’ll be listening in for more opportunities to watch, witness, and share the benefits of stillness as part of simple spirituality.