Monday, September 12, 2011


IN BIRDLAND WE'RE BACK TO DROUGHT CONDITIONS. The grass is crispy and not much is blooming, just the Rose of Sharon and a few lingering islands of Queen Anne’s Lace and Black Eyed Susans. The Jerusalem Artichoke waits in bud, and I think the next rain will encourage it. Then we’ll have a celebration of yellow outside the west window. Sedum has mild, green bunches of blossoms, ready to turn gently pink, then slowly roasting to a rusty red. The last rain topped off my rain barrel, but yesterday I was watering something and got distracted. When I went out later to fill my watering can for the inside plants, I found I’d forgotten to close the spigot and emptied all the precious rainfall into the yard. You don’t miss your water ‘til your rain barrel runs dry.

 The heat has affected our schedule, too. Ellis’ school is on early dismissal, and soccer practice has moved to 6 AM. I got a rare chance to be awakened by my youngest, instead of the other way around. We drove to the soccer field and got there before the sun. We glimpsed a part of the morning we rarely see. A neighbor’s machine shed door open wide, light spilling out into the yard—I don’t think he’ll be in the field today, but his work keeps him busy nonetheless. In town a man pulled his garbage can to the curb and hurried back to his house to get on with his morning. A few doors down a woman stood in the yard with her little white dog, waiting patiently as the dog sniffed around and carefully chose the perfect spot. 

A little later in the day, walking to Campus is like taking an expedition through a toaster oven. A small breeze blows, but it's a hot one and offers no refreshment. I look down the block for shade, planning my route by the number of trees on a street. Although I have been through this cycle many times, the heat addles my brain. I do know that pendulum will swing, the wheel of the year will turn back, but at the same time I've lost faith and I can't imagine that walking to work will be anything other than pushing through air so heavy and swampy that it feels like a physical barrier. I know that just around the corner is sweater weather, but the only corner I can see is when the sun goes down and gives us just a little respite. The weather forecast offers slivers of hope, possible showers, but always tomorrow or the next day, and these dissipate or pass us over before tomorrow arrives.

At home we open the windows as soon as the evening cools, and slam them shut in the morning as soon as it begins to heat up. We try to lock in coolness, and keep out the humidity, with a little success. I was in the kitchen, cracking ice into a bowl, when I happened to look out the window. The trees were dancing, and I somehow knew the breeze was a cool one. I ran outside, and sure enough, a cool front was blowing through. We scampered around opening windows from the top of the house to the bottom. With our double hung windows, we pull the top sash down and push the bottom one up. This pulls in the cool air, while the warm air escapes at the top. The draft cools off the entire house in no time. With the windows open we could hear the wind, and then, something even better. Thunder! A storm was blowing in. The sky darkened and the rain rolled across the bean field. It poured for about ten minutes, and then, just as quickly as it came, the sky in the west brightened and the storm moved eastward, chased by some fluffy white clouds and a blue sky. It wasn't a lot of rain, but enough to green up the grass a bit, and coax a couple of twinkling little asters into bloom. More will follow in the next few days, especially if we get a little more rain.

Dream in Beauty; Bloom in Peace; Blessed Be.

No comments:

Post a Comment