“A poet is someone who stands outside in the rain hoping to be struck by lightning.” ~James Dickey
Rain. I don’t know where you live, but here in bellybutton of Arkansas it’s been the broken promise of rain for two months now.
Two dry months in the middle of an Arkansas summer. The only thing worse is finally getting rain and living in a 115-degree steam bath the next day. I’ll care about that tomorrow, but for now it’s pit-patting on the roof. An old friend.
I could go on and on about this drought’s devastating toll on farm and field around here, but I’m sure some of you are just as dust-covered as I am. Leaves crackled off the trees weeks ago here and everyone house is sporting patchy-dead grass. Watering doesn’t really help and they’ll stop that soon enough. I imagine a few boil-orders here and there as well.
My only comfort is that I never planted those early tomatoes.The grief would have been too much to bear.
A couple of weeks ago a friend and I vacationed Up North. Eureka Springs is in the Ozarks Proper, which means it has it own climate. A self-important mist comes rolling off those mountains every single morning and the whole world is so green it hurts your eyes. It even rained one afternoon, hard. Great sheets of rain blowing sideways, ancient trees flailing branches, thunder, lightning, like that. We sheltered in a local establishment and knit in front of a big leaky window and did not care how long the wait.
It felt almost pagan watching that much rain, which might explain most of the fine people we met in Eureka Springs. Later, I watched quite a few more file oddly through the bell tower of St. Elizabeth’s Church to, I assume, pray for more of the same.
Only a refined sense of familial and educational duty made me come down out of those mountains and back home. One time I’m going to make the trip to Eureka and never come back. Watch me.
Ah, a lull. More on the way soon, though. The rain’s a small gift from Texas for which I’d like to say a big Thank You Very Much. In the morning, the whole world will smell inexplicably like a catfish, but that’s not their fault.