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Unpopular Ideas

Ramblings and Digressions from out of left field, and beyond....

Location: Piedmont of Virginia, United States

All human history, and just about everything else as well, consists of a never-ending struggle against ignorance.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Prayers Answered: Rain at Last

I know this has all been heard before.

Starting about three days ago, we around here finally got what we had all been devoutly wishing for, a couple of good days of soaking rain. Aside from two short-lived thunderbursts in the evening, after which the ground was again bone dry by the next morning, we had had no rain from about the last two weeks in May straight through June and almost through the first 10 days of July.

This is the kind of weather behavior that really gets noticed when you have a decently-sized garden all planted and you are trying to keep it going, for it's almost impossible to believe that any amount of watering by hand -- all that is available to us -- can have the same effect as good soaking rain at kindly intervals.    We were able to keep the garden alive but that was about all.   Meanwhile at about the fifth week of the drought, things stopped growing, and nothing sown would sprout, and the corn became stunted, and the sun was scorching, and the temperature was hot, hot, every day without fail. .  In short, the garden stopped getting any new ideas and may even have started slowly dying.

You feel like you've really entered something primeval when, day after day, you drive to the garden your little pickup truck mounted with a stainless steel storage tank originally  bought to hold 1,000 pounds of honey, and now it's two-thirds full (I wanted to go as easy as I could on my truck's suspension,) of water pumped from your little 19-ft deep well, which I think amounts to about 80 gallons (125 if the tank were full).   And from the tank you and L. and K. and one evening even E. draw water into watering cans (the other members of our communal garden , G. and his wife  C. are hundreds of miles away, sitting on their behinds and doing nothing, at a beach in a place that is in either Ohio or Canada or both and is called Pele Island), and you carry that water to all four of the sections of the garden that you think you need it.

Yet this watering regime is bearable and even strangely pleasant, because it's so basic and relatively easy to do, compared to some other garden work, and even though the days were invariably in the 90's and  nudging 100 F, by the time you started doing this, at the stroke of 6 in the evening, the trees, as carried up by the earth's rotation, had begun to block off the Sun, and suddenly the temperature was just right   I guess it also helps, even in the case of a loner like myself,  when you'te not doing it alone..

All along we told ourselves that the drought couldn't last all summer, but we could never be sure, with the rest of July and all of August still waiting ahead. . So the eventual coming of the rain is actually an old story.   But it's a story that never loses in the retelling and in the reexperiencing.


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