In search of story

Postcard from the doldrums


It is mid-July and there is no cloud of lavender-blue over the lavender. It struggles to grow, let alone bloom. The geranium, though bravely deep ruby, teeters on rickety stem. The bright white vinca remains modestly single-bloomed and close to the earth. They want sun.

There is only rain.

Leaves and flowers sag under waterweight, stoop-shouldered, hollow-backed. People bowed now too, eyes listlessly downward with no horizon to look toward, neither sunset nor sunrise.

There is only rain.

Gardening feeds my spirit, and, just as surely as the squirrels, I store acorns of sunlit troweled moments to sustain me in the winter ahead. But not this year. How is a gardener to make sense of life without a gardening season? Gardeners need sun.

There is only rain.

Fields turned to swamps, the corn, beggarlike, stands suppliant in murk and muck, helpless, roots melting into slime. It wants light.

There is only rain.

We know Indiana weather is imperfect. We know tornadoes dwell in our skies. We know that the writer of Genesis was describing certain months in Indiana when he wrote “darkness covered the earth.” We don’t expect much here, but this sunless summer would send even Job into a grumbly opprobrium.

Ponds of clay soup, downspout gushers, rushing curbside streams, pooling in tire prints, rot in our fences, knots in our lungs,

there is only rain.


Noon, 13 July

Noon, 13 July

4 thoughts on “Postcard from the doldrums

  1. And here every day’s a sunny day. So Ill be thrilled with the first rains in November. But I also miss those dark Indiana days when there was nothing for it but to read all day. I hope all’s well with you. I’m working hard to make ends meet, but still bless each day I wake up in Jerusalem. More soon… Shirah

  2. So good to hear from you! I’m jealous of your sunny days, and I wish things were easier for you, but I do rejoice with you in the matter of finding HOME. A blessing on every day indeed.

  3. What a contrast between the ominous sky in your post and the water diamonds in the header. Too much of a good thing this year, and not enough of another (sunlight). You capture the dampness in our souls so well, Maureen. Here’s to hoping we dry out into some “sunlit trowel moments” soon.

  4. Amen. Too much of a good thing indeed. A dark summer seems so wrong, and it sure does get into us.

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