Thursday, August 12, 2010

The Rain We've Been Waiting For.

Water, water everywhere, nor any drop for the garden.   Or the soul. The lawn has turned a dejected shade of yellow. The hydrangeas have been -- I think I'd have to call it sulking. (If they had lower lips, their lower lips would be stuck out a mile. "Oh, buck up," I'd admonish them.  "I'm hot and thirsty, too.")  Even the weeds have faltered a bit.  All within sight and sound of 127,729,589,400,000 gallons of Erie.

It's downright cruel.

Yesterday the Weather Channel radar teased us with the formidable, hovering lines of a 95% chance of orange and yellow.  Yes!  But they parted to the north and south of us, like the Red Sea and moved on off to Pittsburgh -- once again verifying my highly unscientific assumption that the big thermal presence of all that water drives storms away.

(Except, of course, when it doesn't.  Eek! for that.  A lake storm is a storm with all the stops pulled out. You really want to duck.  Even ducks duck.)

But at midnight, the rains came at last.  And because the lake was quiet, I could hear the rush and splatter of water on the roof.  The sluice of it. The roar.  It came and went through the dark hours.  Off and on until dawn. 

When I went to bed I could see from my pillow a peculiar mass of clouds over the lake. All by itself and very low above the water and quite close to shore, it was -- more than anything else I could come up with metaphorically at that hour -- like a long, gray fluffy choo choo train. (I know. That's why poetry is not my metier.)

At first, the cloud was fat and puffy, with darkness along its underside. Then it thinned down to a slim line of pale, ragged feathers.  And at last, gone.  A few flickers of lightning.  An echo of thunder that lagged behind the flash by many, many chimpanzees.

The cloud dispersed into the lowering sky. I dissolved into sleep.

This morning the world is a bog.  Every living thing deliciously moist and scrambling to recover its lushness.  Not cool though.  Just... boggy.  The windows are fogged. The sky is misty.  The air is thick.  I'm hoping for one of those English complexions to develop for me by end of day.

I went down to the deck that's closest the shore and watched the water for awhile. Apart from a single speedboat on the far horizon, there was nobody but me between here and Canada.  A kingfisher parked on the rocks for awhile, instead of zooming by at the speed of kingfisher, which is much too fast for anyone to be able to appreciate what a big and unusual fellow he is.  So I enjoyed a leisurely look before he dived off his rock and zipped away.  The trees dripped on me and plopped big drops into my coffee cup.

I had a professor once who said "nice" is the most mediocre word you could apply to any person, place or thing.  But here's how the morning was, post-rain, down by Lake E:


1 comment:

  1. Quietly, almost furtively, following you on this site . . . roaming into your garden in the morning dew, chomping on the petals, and rabbit-like, running off across the lawn.

    Love where you're going with the writing life on Lake E. (Annie Dillard?) Luscious. -v