Rain ... for the eighth straight day ... rain. She was beginning to find the enforced confinement more bitter than sweet. Freedom of movement was as dear to her as freedom of thought, even though both were often misunderstood by others. The rain limited her general habit of walking daily -- hikes that cleared her mind to receive guidance and centered her for authentic living. Rain ... it also cleansed memories and scars of past mistakes.

He came home to a testy woman -- wife in his perception, companion in her dreams. His had been a lean day of purpose, distractions met with sighs of unacknowledged anger. They met at the door with a perfunctory kiss and he began to grumble recitals of a misspent day. She felt constrained and controlled by an unspoken inner fear of screaming ... STOP! Let's not talk, but simply listen to the rain.

And he, being sensitive to her psyche, felt the contained rejection and talked -- frenetically spewing words toward an unreceptive ear. She heard him not; she had tuned into a void to avoid an unrelated sharing.

Out of the rain came rumblings of thunder. The storm approached rapidly and with uncontrolled savagery. The light dimmed ... then went out as the next crash followed the flash of lightning too close to ignore. He took her hand and led her to the sofa, as much for his comfort as hers. They sat without speaking and listened to the storm raging outwardly, that storm which each had felt within. As the storm abated -- seeming to have spent itself in calamitous outburst -- the subdued pair continued in a silence that radiated an envelope of peace. They were still sitting when the light came back on.

She was the first to speak. From that deep place touched in the Silence, she said simply and quietly, "Yes ... shall we take a walk before we eat?"

He assented with a kiss and a smile which conveyed more than a plethora of words.

~ Nan Merrill