Saturday, May 30, 2015

Delicious Like Rain

“A giant thirst is a great joy when quenched in time.”
~ Edward Abbey, Desert Solitaire
We Thirst for This Rain!
Rain-spotting From My Porch
Mist, Clouds, Moisture
Blue Heron Flies North
Then South
Raspberries Drinking
Leaves Cupping Droplets of Water
Mergansers in the Rain
Pines Among Mist
Ever Hopeful That Dirt Will Bring Flowers & Fruit
Garden Guardian
My Newest Arrangement for the Porch in Time for Rain
Lazily, I lean back against my house beneath the cover of a sloped porch roof, sitting cross-legged and listening to the rain. Nothing else matters in this moment of mist among pines as I feel life drink this delicious cup after a long dry spring.

Bootsy's fur wicks the moisture to fine tips on her outer coat; beneath she is warm, soft and dry. She stands on my thigh, dripping miniscule droplets that write wet and inscrutable script across my thin pants. Like me, she relaxes to the music of the rain sheltered in the cocoon of cool moisture.

Tips of pine trees protrude from mist on the ridge that has welcomed the rain clouds to Elmira Pond. Some may long for sunny days, but I thirst for delicious rain. The sun is radiant, illuminating clouds in light and layers. I know it's still there.

A great blue heron flaps wings like canvas sails and scuds beneath the lowest stratum of clouds, high enough to miss tops of pines. Bootsy settles into my lap, the rain continues and the heron returns. Is this an avian version of playing in puddles?

Tree swallows tumble in the mist, hunting wet insects above the pond. A male hooded merganser preens feathers on the pond log while his lady swims nearby. Ducks like rain. I once heard children sing that while their mother shopped for apples.

Days like this and that refrain pops to mind.

All week I've hustled to plant, encouraged by the promise of weekend rain. Actually, the weather fortune-tellers predicted it last weekend and small thunderstorms fed the idea all week long. Other than a quick drink here and there, I continued to water my seedlings, roses, raspberries and spreading garden.

We all hoped for rain.

So far, buried like treasure in the tilled dirt of two gardens, are my own seeds of hope -- red onions, shallots, garlic, butternut squash, yellow zucchini, green patty pans, pie pumpkins, sunflowers dwarf and tall, strawberry calendula, nasturtiums, snap beans, rattlesnake beans, scarlet runners, peas beneath bamboo and twine tee-pees, beets, salad mix, cherybell radishes, marigolds, ground cherries and even an absurd attempt at a baby watermelon.

Perhaps all hope is absurd.

If we hope for the expected, how is that hope? Hope is for miracles, and nothing is more miraculous than seeds pushed into dirt yielding fruit. 
“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” 
~ Albert Einstein
Rain is needed to make the miracles sprout, but I can no more control the rain than I can to train a tree to jump-rope. It feels like a cool refreshment after a week of busting sod. Actually, Todd busted sod, I followed and shaped rows, hills and clusters.

I garden like an artist filling up a canvas -- a splash here, there. What if I blend pole beans with peas or plant flowers behind squash? I fill the ground one day at a time, digging holes with bare toes and sitting idly in warm dirt. Bootsy is my contented companion. No doubt she believes we all should live outside.

I've found her curled up in sunny corners of the main garden and have traced her footprints punched like a trail of holes across the second garden. She watches me weed, mow and water in approval. She rolls beneath my budding roses that I've trellised with bamboo.

Does she await the first bloom like I do?

Perhaps not, but when I linger long outside Bootsy is content enough to sleep hard. I pause and watch her, amazed that this cat is so trusting in my presence. At night I hear coyotes howl in huge numbers. The wolves have remained silent, but this is the time that animals traverse the McArthur Corridor and many predators pass through. By day, in the gardens, Bootsy feels secure.

And so do I. Though today we will refresh in the rain, enjoy the new profusion of flowers I've potted along with my first ever rhubarb plant. Let it rain, let it green.

Tomorrow we plant more seeds and continue to hold out for hope.


  1. Growing things makes my world go round and rain washes it down. So refreshing after the long dry we've been in tool Our rains came just in time to fill in the gap before irrigating started.

    1. Oh, yes! Growing things is such a connected feeling and rains --especially in a dry region -- can be such a blessing. Happy growing this season!

  2. Growing things makes my world go round and rain washes it down. So refreshing after the long dry we've been in tool Our rains came just in time to fill in the gap before irrigating started.

  3. I just marvel at the pictures you create with words, Charli Mills. You are indeed a word wrangler, squeezing every drop of imagery you can from the rain and soil. Your garden won't be able to deny you the miracles you seek, you tend too well for that. You nourish your seeds and encourage their growth as you tend to the garden of writers you have grown around you. If anyone can teach a tree to jump rope, it is you!
    I agree with Einstein. I see a miracle in everything.

    1. Oh, Norah, I might just try to teach a tree jump rope! :-D Thank you for reading and finding the imagery satisfying. This is where I play with words and images. I'm glad to have you in my story garden. Like companionable plants, we feed inspiration to one another. And miracles unfold...

  4. You have magic in your fingertips! :)