Throw the raindrops back into the sky
Last updated 1/17/2015 at 6:40pm
We all wish we could turn time backward and change something we’ve done or something we didn’t do.
I was talking to a friend last week and he is convinced he has ruined his life and he’ll never recover from a mistake he made. I tried to encourage him and tell him it wasn’t the end of the world, but he is filled with regret and thinks he’ll never be happy again. He has lost his self-confidence and every day he relives his mistake over and over in his mind.
We’ve all done things we regret, we make mistakes, we use bad judgment, sometimes we even do things we know are wrong and we do them anyway and then face a worse backlash than we ever imagined.
Have you ever tried to “undo” something that is impossible to “undo”?
More than once I’ve added the wrong ingredients to something I was cooking and then I’ve tried to use a spoon to scoop the wrong ingredients back out of the bowl. Sometimes it works, most of the time it doesn’t. That’s a small mistake. Big mistakes are harder to “scoop” out of our lives.
I remember when my son was young he was upset that it rained on a day we’d planned a picnic. He ran out into the yard and started catching raindrops in his hands and throwing them back up into the sky. More rain kept falling and he asked me how he could put the raindrops back into the sky. I told him he couldn’t.
I was wrong. Of course we couldn’t do it that day, but eventually those raindrops would evaporate and go back into the clouds and travel to another place and fall to earth again and they might water someone’s flower garden or they might ruin a little boy’s picnic.
There is an old Sioux legend about rain and dancing with fear. The legend says the skies had dried up and it had not rained in months. There were no berries on the bushes, the grass had dried up and the horses were hungry. The deer and wild game had left to go in search of green grass and water. The tribe was starving and desperate.
Fear walked with the tribe, he covered all of the people with his black blanket and fear chased away hope. The chief and all the people became afraid it would never rain again and they were afraid they would all starve to death. One of the children asked the chief why they didn’t have a rain dance and he said the people had given up and had no hope.
The children hadn’t given up hope yet and they began to dance, and while they danced they began to laugh. Fear walked over to watch the children and their laughter made him laugh, and he dropped his black blanket and joined the children. The rest of the tribe climbed out from under the black blanket and danced with the children and Fear turned into Hope.
The wind heard the laughter and the drums and traveled to the camp. When he saw that Fear had turned to Hope, the wind danced in a great circle and gathered the clouds and the clouds looked down at the people dancing and they cried for joy and their teardrops turned to rain. The creeks filled with water, the grass turned green, the wild game came back. The children had danced in the face of fear and turned fear into hope and hope made it rain.
Regret and Fear rob us of happiness and hope. We can’t “undo” the past any more than we can throw the raindrops back up into the sky but every day we have the chance for a fresh start.
Crying Wind is the author of Crying Wind and
My Searching Heart, When the Stars Danced, and Thunder in Our Hearts, Lightning in Our Veins. All her books are available from Indian Life.