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Once upon a time, there was a woman who thought she was the weather.

When the skies were dark and cloudy, she felt stormy and turbulent inside.

When the skies were blue and cloudless, she felt happy and light.

When a hurricane raged, she picked fights with her friends and tore the house apart.

Each day the woman peeked outside at the weather to see how she felt and plan her life around it.

One day, the rain fell heavily upon the earth, and the woman-who-thought-she-was-the-weather knew herself as sadness. She sat on a bench beneath a sheltered pavilion with her head in her hands, weeping.

“Excuse me, miss,” a voice said.

The woman looked up to see a little wombat standing in the rain, staring straight at her. 

“Who’s there?” the woman called out, looking for a person, for wombats didn’t talk in any kind of weather. “Can’t you see my rain of tears?”

“I can and I’m here to help,” the wombat replied.

The woman’s jaw fell open. “You…this…is impossible! This must be a rain of crazy visions. I’m seeing things.” 

She rubbed her eyes and looked again. The wombat was still there with a slightly impatient look on its face.

“The rain is just rain. It does what it does: RAIN. And you are not the weather,” it said.

“Nonsense,” the woman replied. “Can’t you see how sad the skies are today? I’m always sad when it rains.”

“That’s funny,” the wombat said, placing its little hands on its hips. “Have you noticed that you’re no longer crying?”

The woman touched her face. It was true; her tears had stopped.

“The sky must be about to clear,” she said. “Sometimes the weather shifts before the sun appears.”

“Well, then. Is it okay if I wait here with you for the sun to come out? I’m getting soaked.”

The woman nodded and the wombat climbed onto the bench beside her. The two of them waited in silence for many minutes. The rain kept raining, and the woman kept not-crying. 

“I don’t understand this,” the woman finally spoke. “I’m not raining sadness. If anything, I feel more like bewildered dust storm.”

“That’s because you are not the weather. Like I said.”

“You’re a wombat. Why should I believe you?” the woman sniffed.

“A magical talking wombat is a rather impressive fact in itself, but you don’t have to believe me. Are you willing to try something?”

A bewildering dust storm was not the proper mood for trying new things, but the woman was so bewildered at watching the rain and feeling the dust storm, that she agreed. 

“Close your eyes tight and think of someone you love,” the wombat said.

The woman squeezed her eyes shut and thought of the day her niece was born. She smiled, remembering how warm and lovely it felt holding the baby close to her bosom.

“How do you feel now?” the wombat asked.

“I feel cool summer morning sky,” she answered.

“Good. Now open your eyes.”

The woman did. It was still raining. 

She sputtered in disbelief. “There must be some weird glitch in the weather system.”

The wombat placed one damp paw on the woman’s shoulder. “The weather out there,” he pointed to the skies, “has nothing to do with the weather happening inside of you.”

“All this time I’ve been controlled by the weather?” The woman began to feel thunderstorms and cumulonimbus cloud angry. 

“No, no, no. The weather has absolutely nothing to do with how you feel, even though it seems that way. Take a look,” the wombat said.

The woman looked up with the eyes of her soul and saw thoughts floating through everything. They were the energy of everywhere!

She saw giggling cirrus thoughts and chaotic cyclone thoughts, sultry summer evening thoughts and despairing tsunami thoughts. She saw how she could ignore one thought and pay attention to another.

The woman let out a long and gusty sigh. “So what do I do now?”

“You get to be alive. Really alive,” the wombat said. “You’re welcome.”

From that day forward, the woman had the awareness to see thought, and she used it to create a life that was joyful and surprising. Occasionally she forgot that she was not the weather, but each time she woke up a bit more and remembered for a little longer.

The woman even learned to dance in the rain, and even invited the wombat to join her.

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