You know me
i do not tolerate days upon weeks upon months
of extreme heat and little to no rain.
But that's exactly what our summer has been.
Hades rose up from its molten lava pit
grabbed nearly every corner of this vast continent into
its deadly, evil embrace
and would not
let go until it sucked the life from every living thing.
i crawled inside my shell weeks ago
managed only to accomplish the bare minimums.
It was not just me and my need for
mild summer days and frequent blessings from rain clouds
that had me in a stupor.
Family members out west had cars packed with
emergancy supplies while ash from raging wildfires
rained down upon their homes.
For the most part
i've been numb
(turns out that
even though people whine loudest in winter
more human lives are lost to extreme heat than
any other natural disaster)
and i've learned that numbness has an upside or two:
it allows one to focus on small things
and forget the overwhelming and devastating
and stop ranting in frustration that i have zero ability
to make a difference nor any idea when or if it the deadly days will end
(although ranting can feel pretty good, at least compared
to the suffocating anxiety you've been holding back).
One can assume shorter days will cool things off
when would the clouds return with their blessings?
Oh. yes. Before i forget, there is another positive:
hauling hose pipe all day long
day after day
is a good upper body workout.
(For all of July we were focusing on saving trees and shrubs
let alone perennials and veg).
While standing, watering
here or at Greenwood
my eyes clung to any beautious thing
Finally, GOOD NEWS:
Fires were "contained"
(not put out, merely kept from spreading
it can take many more days to finally knock down a blaze)
and no one in my family lost their home
or livelihood to fire.
And on Wednesday, July 17
just before some of those family arrived for
a planned visit
and just before my soul gave up its ghost
northwest winds finally blew in and
pushed Hades back down into that ugly place it belongs
at least temporarily.
a full inch of precious rain blessed the parched earth
and cool breezes caressed.
We went out and stood in it
We talked of nothing else all day long
Dinner that night was a feast of thanksgiving.
A few short days later
all manner of blessings were heaped upon us!
This past Monday
i drove with visiting family to Liberty State Park and boarded the ferry
to visit Ellis Island and cruise past Lady Liberty.
in my frustration with politicians
ridiculous governmental interventions
and a populace that is too often apathetic and oblivious
i can become cynical about "This Great Nation".
However, walking through Ellis Island with eyes open
was a deeply moving experience
because you see so many of the incredible faces
of those who gave up everything
to come to where things were better
even if not actually the heaven it was often imagined to be.
(You will forgive me, i hope, for not commenting further re
the blessings vs blatant hypocrisies in this, my homeland...
i simply do not have the energy for wrestling with such thoughts
and such an exercise would defeat me)
in my numb state
(that numbness was not easy to shake off
after all, one good storm doesn't mean "it's all over")
i had forgotten to grab my camera
and for the very first time i was grateful for cell phone technology
and what i call "camera phones"
because it was there on Ellis Island that
i was able to catch a precious little moment of our own family history
as the youngest member
Jaycee, Kelly's granddaughter
the little girl she had always hoped for
stood up from the ground all by herself for the very first time
It was so exciting!! and we all clapped and laughed and clapped some more
these aren't the best pictures i'll ever take
but they are treasures
because the whole time spent with Jaycee and her mom and dad
i could feel Kelly with us
and i just love it when young boy cousins love to hold
their littlest cousin
when the boat headed toward the statue
i must admit it
a lump formed in my throat
as i felt very deeply
perhaps for the very first time
what it must have felt like to see her
after leaving everything
and in so many cases
i just couldn't help myself
i rejoiced and nearly danced a little jig
(except for the fact that we were on a little boat that
was doing a gentle dance of its own)
when i realized that all those rain clouds
were coming from the direction of our home!
another huge grin spreads across my face as i type the following:
we drove home to discover 1.5 inches of water in the rain gauge!!
That's not all!
more clouds rolled in
turning the last hours dark long before sunset
and the heavens opened up once again!!
A sunny day followed
today: more clouds and gentle rain.
our trees, shrubs, and multitude of living beings and i
are very happy to report that
we can breathe again
and for now, at least
life goes on.
Last night, July 26
another round of lightning and pouring rain = another inch!!!
Is it really, truly over?