Oddments

In search of story


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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