Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Gentle Rain From Heaven

After a string of bright, chilly, windy days, the rain has come to stay for a while, and we gardeners are celebrating.

Not for the obvious reason, however. Sure, we're glad for the perennials just coming into bloom, and for the broccoli and tomato transplants whose baby roots need all the help they can get, and for the water table on which our wells—and everything else—depend.

But the real reason that we gardeners are rejoicing is that it's too wet to work outside. So we're tossing our dirt-encrusted jeans in the laundry, scrubbing the dirt from under our nails, and reacquainting ourselves with the inside of our houses. Reacquainting ourselves with friends as well.

Having applied 30 bags of mulch (weighing about 40 pounds each) to the flower beds in front of the house yesterday, I spent this morning returning e-mails, talking with one friend on the phone, going to lunch with another. We are all as grateful for this spate of rainy days in gardening season as we are for a thaw in January.

Which leads me to conclude, once more, that frequent changes in routine are a very good thing. For me, the lengthening, then shortening days; the peepers giving way to crickets; the planting and the harvesting followed by the shutting down of the outdoors, followed by the season of the wood stove—these are the things that keep the tedium of life at bay.

A place where it's always sunny; where you can go swimming in February and plant tomatoes in March; where the same birds sing and the same flowers bloom year round; the kind of place, in short, where most people would like to live, would do me in.

Give me, instead, a place where I have to look out the window and listen to a ten-minute dissertation by the VPR weatherman before I can figure out what clothes to wear, what kind of boots to put on my feet, and what shape my life will take (frenzied physical activity outdoors? Indoor reflection and philosophizing?) for the next twelve hours.

The natives around here like to say, "if you don't like the weather, just wait five minutes.” Me, I almost always like the weather, and I'm almost always glad that it keeps changing.

5 comments :

  1. Ah, I love this post. And I have been enjoying the rain, wishing the fish and the rivers and the plants and the water table well...

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  2. Yes, IB, we want to keep that stream in your backyard (oh, how I envy you!)flowing.

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  3. I am rejoicing for the same reason...

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  4. how many times have i felt the same thing? too cold too wet too windy to do yardwork... but we are having glorious sunny weather, so i have no excuses. yesterday i bought lavender, basil and rosemary plants at the farmer's market. tonight after work, i plant.

    but oh we need rain so much.

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  5. Lavender and rosemary, my favorites! Here, lavender can survive winter outdoors, but rosemary has to be brought inside. How about where you are?

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