Listening to the Rain

February 7, 2013
Katherine Austin Wooley


By Lynne Meredith Golodner

Recently, I made ghee with two of my children.

We stood around the stove, transfixed by the butter melting on the bottom of the metal pan. We watched it silently swirl into liquid and the kids kept saying, "I hear it. I hear the rain."

I shooshed them because they didn't hear it yet. We are so often eager to hear something that we fill the silence, thinking we are hearing it when really it hasn't even begun to whisper.

Making ghee takes a good 20 minutes, and the first few are silent. The rain does not begin until all the butter is melted and it starts to bubble. Shaya stood on a chair. Eliana stood beside him, smiling, eager, anticipating. I towered over them, wooden spoon in hand, finger to my lips, ear cocked toward the pot.

Do you have any idea how many times I have cooked for these children? This was the first time we ever stood pressed so close together, silent, listening.

Finally, the rain started. A gradual pitter-patter until it became a steady crackle, like summer rain on the drain pipes outside or a metal roof in the tropics. And the rain poured down until it slowed to a late afternoon shower, soothing, reassuring, steady but not heavy.

When the rain finally stopped and the liquid was amber-golden and clear, we shut off the flame. All we had done was stand before the stove, watching transformation.

The act of doing it together, of no outside chatter, of not distracting phone conversation or music, was profound.

I never ate ghee, let alone made it from scratch, before I entered the world of Karma Yoga. Little did I know when my work brought me here that it was the universe guiding my soul to a place I now call home. (Thank you Kate Smith for teaching me!)

Why make ghee? Not only is it significant and powerful in health terms; when you create a sadhana, or practice, around the ritual of preparing food, it elevates the very act of eating and nourishing our bodies. When I do it with my children or anyone I care about, it elevates the practice further, and elevates our relationships. We are truly of service, rather than simply feeding our bodies.

The next morning, two clear glass jars of ghee had solidified in my pantry. Nourishing food we made ourselves, together, in the silence of the moments, knowing its flavor will add so much to our lives.

This blog first appeared at

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