A Flood of Emotions
The weather forecast is predicting rain. Normally as we prepare to say goodbye to summer in the region where I am, that might not be a good thing. However, we are in the midst of a rather severe drought so the rain is eagerly anticipated. Of course how we feel if caught in the rain and end up soaking wet will most likely lessen our enthusiasm.
In his book “The Egyptians Book of the Dead, The Book of Going Forth by Day, Raymond Faulkner describes the Egyptian flood myth as a situation in which the deity Atum has become fed up with mankind. Atum sees mankind as rebellious and ungrateful and vows to return the earth to the Primordial Waters of its beginning. Atum remains in the form of a snake with Osiris. Atum, whose name translates as “finisher” is considered to be the first being. Some consider him to be the first man while others consider him to be a self-made god.
It is interesting to me that Atum, who was first and yet whose name means to finish, is connected to the concept of a great flood. One could say that flood waters create new things because they certainly have made new waterways and created new alliances between government agencies on conducting disaster relief. What starts as rain with children splashing about in puddles quickly can become a great flood, finishing to a chorus of despair and destruction.
I don’t know if you have ever lived in a flood-prone area or survived a great storm like a cyclone, tornado, or hurricane, but the snakes often come out after each. The Egyptian myth has Atum remaining as a snake on earth also amuses me since floods and snakes are associative.
Osiris was the Egyptian god of the death and the underworld. It might seem logical then that he was involved in their flood myth telling of the destruction of all. However, The Egyptians believed that the underworld under the Nile is what provided new life, new vegetation. Osiris was also considered the god of love. I see their flood myth as one of hope because the first man and the finisher, also called the one who completed all, remained with the deity responsible for new life and regeneration, also known as the god of love.
The rain we are hoping to have today will certainly assist the gardening enthusiasts and those watching the water levels of our reservoirs. Low water levels can result in a domino effect on the environment and our own personal comforts. Generally speaking, the rain will be most appreciated because its benefits will outweigh any long-term effects… or so we hope.
What about when it rains, figuratively speaking, in our own lives? How welcome are those rains? Those are the times that really test our faith and when the true nature of our character seems to appear. Those are the times that the intentions of our soul bear light. How we survive the floods of despair and anguish in our lives can help give assistance to others.
The opportunity to help another is not hard to find. I am not particularly fond of the old adage “Misery loves company”. What I do believe is that misery craves comfort. Most of us have suffered floods in our lives, grief and detours that took off the steady path and led us down rocky emotional terrains. The fact that you are here reading this tells me you are a survivor. You can offer than to another and they will thank you.
What may seem like the worst day of our life might just be the life preserver someone needs. Sharing an umbrella at a bus stop will bring a smile and gratitude. The same is true when you offer support to another. You do not have to have the answers to all their problems. All you have to offer is support in the moment. Never underestimate the value of a smile, a quick hug or hand grasped in companionship. Sometimes the best way to weather the storms of life is by sharing a smile.