Monday, October 10, 2011

I Got Wet Yesterday, and I'm Thrilled

Back in the 1980s, I remember clearly, we had a spring full of wildflowers. The rains and sunshine came just right, and for weeks and weeks, the fields were covered with wildflowers that bloomed and bloomed and bloomed.

I remember telling someone at the time that at last I knew what great wealth felt like. Plenty, and plenty and more plenty coming. My eyes feasted on those flowers.

No, I didn't take pictures. I didn't need to. Those weeks of yarrow, Queen Anne's lace, Indian blankets, Black-eyed Susans, wild larkspur, bluebonnets, five kinds of daisies,fairy cups, primrose, honeysuckle, pink roses and so much more just fed my soul.

I like to think sometimes about the seeds that may still lie dormant and bloom again someday.

I once was very comfortable financially, That hasn't been true in decades, but I have been comfortable enough. But as I associated the extravagant spring with wealth, so the ongoing drought feels like poverty. Prices are going up--especially food, which now must come such long distances. My dollars don't go as far. Somehow the drought adds to it. The land, the very land around me, is in poverty.

A rain back in August didn't green the lawns but did partially green some of the pastures around my home. Native grasses jump to the opportunity to drink and grow. We've heard a lot this summer about how weeds are water hogs in tended beds, snatching the water from the thirsty roots of the plants we want to water.

This weekend we had rain that was overall, wonderful. I've heard totals some places of much less than an inch; we got at least three inches here. Further west, where the wildfires have been so bad, rainfall ranged from four to eight inches. The rain soaked rather than poured,and the ground was so thirsty, almost none ran off into rivers and lakes. I actually saw one puddle that lasted a couple of hours.

Weather experts say that's it for now. West Texas got the most of this and needed it. South Texas, which normally grows a lot of produce used instate, has been unable to deliver this year. About 20 percent of the trees across the state are dead or dying.

Rain was great. Dog Gracie got wet and muddy, prefering to stay outside for long periods to coming inside. I actually got WET running to the car! (I gave in to superstition recently when I saw a display of umbrellas and didn't buy one. Might jinx the rain.)

It was a wonderful respite.

I actually saw a few sprigs of green in the straw-like lawn this morning. The grass could green a bit for the first time in four months. That will make my granddaughter happy.She gets paid to mow for me, and she didn't mow, even once, all summer.

Maybe now's her chance.


clairz said...

We only ever mowed twice all summer. Last year the lawn was mown once a week.

You know you live in the Southwest when you can tell folks how long your puddles last!

charlotte g said...

Oh, yes--and this was on dirt, not concrete. Up till now, the ground wouldn't let a drop gather. It drank the rest soon enough.

I understand the fall foliage is really late there. Usually it's golden by late September with a splash of flame. Climate change?