Rain drenched the desert this past weekend, moisture we desperately needed.  The amazing thing about the desert is, after months without precipitation, the plants immediately burst with green after a mere inch of water. The crystalline air has been washed free of dust and all is pristine. Cholla glows in the sunlight, the brittlebush stands tall, and the globe mallow is vibrant and lush. Even birdsong rings more clearly after a rain; everything and everyone is energized. 

If water is that cleansing, that invigorating, why are we so often afraid to cry? Tears expose us to the world, leave us soft and vulnerable, yet it is in that vulnerability that we reveal our humanity.  The last two days I’ve been communicating online with a dear woman from my past.  Out of respect for her privacy I won’t reveal her identity or the genesis of our relationship. It is sufficient to know that after long years without contact she reached out to me in emotional pain.  As she shared the details of her situation, my heart heaved and tears welled in my eyes.  In her last missive, she told me tears were running down her face as she read my words and felt the love I extended to her. 

This morning as I walked the dogs through the fresh desert, I couldn’t help but think of the synchronicity of the desert rain and my friend’s tears. She brought me a gift: the recognition of the power of water to physically cleanse and the power of tears to emotionally heal.  Tears are meant to be spent. How often do we hide our tears in embarrassment, quickly wiping them away before anyone can see?  Instead of accepting the sweet release they bring, we hoard them, storing the emotions they represent away, piling them up like boxes on a dark closet shelf.  Time after time we cram those boxed feelings away, stoically standing tall beneath its weight until finally the shelf gives way. The closet door springs open and we find ourselves awash in a torrent of unresolved emotion and tears. 

Once I was gifted with a silver medallion etched with a Medicine Wheel by another dear friend. As she slipped the medallion over my head, tears dripped freely down my cheeks.  Embarrassed I brushed them away but she stayed my hand, telling me “your tears are crystal tears and are meant to be shared with the world.”  She was right. There is great beauty and power in running water, in flowing tears.  Like the desert after a rain, spent tears leave one clean and bright, ready for new.

The woman who reached out to me the other day lingers on my mind. I hope she reads my words.  I want to congratulate her and tell her I’m glad she wept for it means she is unafraid to heal and those tears are the first step on that path.  Sending her all my love and letting her know how grateful I am she shared her tears.

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