A Saturday Caesura
Water gurgles along the eaves-troughs that border the roof. Wind sighs its way through a stand of sodden trees across the street. The diesel engine of a train and thunder blend their rumbles somewhere not far off.
Listening to the birthing of a storm shifts my focus from the overwhelming tasks of the day to a place of calming stillness. Odd that the growing bluster outside would lead to such quietness in my spirit.
The gentle spit spat of raindrops on the window soon becomes a steady thrumming, then an aggressive attack that pummels window, roof, and deck. The weather app had warned of a severe thunderstorm this evening, but so far the thunder is passive, mostly uninterested in participating in its own event; this storm is about relentless rain assaulting the earth rather than special effects in the sky.
I close my eyes and listen, forgetting about the piles of yet-to-be-organized files and the rising pressure to be prepared for a school year that bodes of endless uncertainty.
Right now, there is just the sound of rain. Steady. Rhythmic. Soothing even in its violence.
A Saturday Caesura
It rained in pieces this week. Now the backyard has estuaries and shallow water ports for visiting mallards and blue-winged teals. I find something therapeutic in shedding my day job to slosh around in rubber boots, childlike. Even on grey, damp days I find a particular satisfaction in the labour of hands in dirt, the digging and planting and replanting, the work of the gardener.
I find a sense of place and belonging in knowing the trees and plants growing in my yard. I know exactly where to check for nubby fiddlehead crowns and the first of the lilies to probe for daylight. I train a wild gooseberry bush to grow along the range fence, espalier-style. I say hello to the oldest diamond willow, respectful of its aging bark and cracking limbs. Like many of the fast-growing short-living poplars in our yard, the willow is dying. They all need to be cut down and replaced. I know this, and know this process of growing and dying is the signature of a fallen creation, but I will miss these tree-friends when they go.
I dig up, relocate the lilies and a clump of sedum. I’ll eventually do the same with columbine, Jacob’s ladder, ligularia, hosta, lily-of-the-valley. The soil is heavy, saturated with downpours and drizzles; it drips raw earthy odours. Earthworms wriggle in the wake of the shovel. I cradle the plants in my hands, ease them into their new bed, and pray they thrive here.
I need them to live.
I spread compost, rebuild a small rock wall, clean my shovel, put the wheelbarrow away. It rains, again.
There is goodness in this work. It cultivates and nourishes contentment.
I walked in the drizzle grey
and listened to a
who seems to know nothing
of sadness or sorrow,
knows only a song
of joy and good cheer,
and I thought how easily I
can let the dreary weight
of drizzle drown the
melody of joy.
Suppose we loved each other
like rain, gently, steadily,
Inspired by Wendell Berry’s poem “Like Snow”
Grey drizzle rain
sometimes brightens to
blue fresh sun.
Open my heart to know beauty
even when the rain-grey stays.