oh, lord, i wish you could have seen the rains. the kind that come as if a trough, or ten, suddenly is dumped. the kind that come swooshing in at sideways angles. not straight, not down, more like from a firehose. the kind that make you think you’re on the wild seas, and your boat’s capsized, and, gulp, you’re taking water.
i, being defiant to the darkening skies, had all the windows open just last eve. there was a symphony outside, i swear. i was tuned in to station evensong, when, just before their bedtime, all the blessed, breathy birds empty out their lungs. twill. warble. hit notes so high it’s amazing plates don’t break. it’s shocking that no agents book them for the met, i tell you, their song’s so pure, so sure to get on-your-feet ovations.
i didn’t want to miss a stanza, so i dared the looming clouds not to mess with me. (note to self: be no such fool to think that you can stave the rains.)
at once, as i was thwopping garlic-mashed potatoes, the sky went limey green and oddest shade of gray.
that was the wink, i’m pretty sure, from cloud to cloud, to say, “let rip!”
and rip, they did.
crack of thunder marked the start of this decided race, to see which cloud could drop the most, the fastest: in a flash, the world seemed underwater.
pummel. splatter. rain and more rain. doors blew open. a plate blew off a shelf, bounced and, somehow, somehow, didn’t shatter. or even take a ding.
all i could do was stand and hold my open palms across my drop-jawed mouth. oh, no, i cried. this cannot be. my little baby flowers. all the blossoms will be lost. how cruel. i cannot watch.
but then, of course, just like when i try to hide from scary movies, i kept one eye glued on all the gory detail: i witnessed, yes i did, magnolia petals ripped from where they clung to branches, then cascade to puddles pooled where once, not long before, there’d been a plain old garden. i heard, so help me, those falling petals’ final cries for mercy.
i saw daffodils curl their spines and try to shield each other from the unforgiving rains.
i couldn’t even fathom the soggy end of so much hard-won promise.
i had urge to run outside. tie teeny-tiny rain bonnets on every branch and stem. the plastic, see-through sort my grandma wore, when she’d just had her hair done, and didn’t want it sodden.
instead, i stood and prayed.
tried to think just what the lesson this was: hold your breath for blooming. get close to going down. but then, rise with warming winds, and blooms that dare unfurl. only to be shaken, rocked and pummeled. to lose your petals in a fit of angry storm.
some lesson that would be. i might check out and find another school.
but, no, that wasn’t it.
it was dark before the rains stopped. so i could hardly tally all the lost and wounded. instead i went to sleep. tossed and turned. woke up early. tiptoed out to check up on my world.
what you see above is my resilient wonder. oh, she’s been knocked a bit. her hair’s a mess, you’ll see, if you look quite closely. (oh, go ahead, she won’t be embarrassed. she knows she nearly got pureed in the cloud-burst cuisinart.)
but she is wholly there. all seven open throats. just a little sore from all the gulping down of horizontal rain. she is even puff-puff-puffing the early notes of her intoxicating, rare perfume.
and on this dawn, after all that rain and fright, i’d say she’s lovelier than ever. for almost being lost, in the middle of her show.
which, once again, reminds me: hold on. have faith. and never mind a head of tousled locks.
hullo, if you’re just jumping in here. we are in the midst of watching one blessed bloom unfold. of course, this being the cyber-age, most folks would set up fancy-schmancy camera and record it all in one fell swoop, then post it as a vid-e-o. not me. i use this old black box as if it were a simple typewriter with stamps that work at high-speed. i lick the envelope, and click, it lands right in your mailbox. so, of course, we are doing this the slow way. the one-day-at-a-time way. we will watch, until she fades into a memory of this holy sacred spring. (fear not, you who might be yawning, we will interrupt the show to bring you unrelated bulletins as they are filed…..)