Thursday, October 25, 2012

And then.......

So it's now late October. The golden sun and leaves of my last post are gone. Literally - in the 50 mph wind we had last week. But other colors paint the landscape.

We cleared off the garden. Then we cleaned out the garage. The last of the green was gone from the creek, and the garden as well. The ewes relished the last seasonal treats of the immature squash and gourds. The broccoli plants were crunched with great enthusiasm, and the red and green tomatoes eagerly gobbled. We sighed a bit, and unwrapped yet another of the precious few bales.

And then...... it rained.

With a soft distant rumble of thunder, it began with a gentle patter on the window. It continued for much of the morning, each drop disappearing as soon as it hit the ground. It didn't seem like much, so I was surprised when the telltale sign of the glistening puddle appeared at the end of the drive - had it really reached the half inch mark?  Yes, indeed.

By then, the faint rhythmic pulse of the rain was accompaniment to the chorus of the green. If you listened carefully, you could almost hear the turnips singing. Maybe it was just my imagination, but  I think the trees were humming along.

To witness and be moved by such a simple act of nature is a wonder-ous and humbling thing. It brought back memories. Of my Dad, leaning against the frame of the porch screen door, watching the water pouring out of the bent downspout, covering  the lawn in a miniature flood plain, his face almost aglow in a grin. My mother's retelling of a neighbors claim "'Makes me want to break out a chorus of the Doxology when it rains like this', according to  Edith Stone". Was that the refrain I heard?

The 3/4 in we got that day was welcome beyond words. And there were still showers predicted that night. Sleep came easily for the first time in weeks. Brief pelting of drops off and on during the night were but more music to my ears.

The ground seemed unusually wet the next morning when I fetched Dolly from the kennel. Even a hint of mud. But it wasn't until later that day I understood why. "Did you empty the gauge last night?" I asked when Don came home. He went out  to check it, neither of us not sure if we could believe it. An inch .6 total.

And it didn't stop then. Again, today, it rained. Another inch. We can't explain why we continue to get considerably more than our neighbors (well, except in Omaha). Not going to question it.

So the ewes got a few days grazing on the last grass on the west fork. The mixed greens patch is fluffing up, but still not enough to graze. If the weather holds up, and its above normal temps as predicted, there may be some greens of a different sort come Christmas.

Meanwhile, the days pass by, and the usual seasonal activity with them. The girls were sorted by  familial groups, and the bucks turned out. New lambs will be the next crop hoped for. The cycles and circles of life spiral on. I noticed the other day, that the colors of the landscape had shifted. Before, the trees provided a backdrop of dry green over the tanning of the grass. Today, the gray-brown bare branches reach up from pools of green. The world once more has been turned up-side-down. Or has it been righted by rain? It matters not, I suppose.

Oh - it rained all right. But the drought is far from over. There will be many nights spent pondering copeing methods of dry, hopeful minds  emotionally enlightened and physically warmed by the orange glow of a friendly fire. There's one burning now.

And I hear it calling. Or maybe its speaking softly to the still alive trees outside, joining them in the soft melody of an ancient song. I think I'll join them. I'm sorry you can't hear us via blog. I'm humming the old hymn along with them.  It goes "Praise God, from whom all blessings flow, Praise Him all creatures here below."

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