The Writer's Cramp 7/27/21
Marcia got ready to water the garden, again. The five gallon buckets seemed to heavier each day. The hose broke a week ago. No money to buy a new one for another few days. So she had to haul water.
The temperatures continued to rise, day after day. Unprecedented said the weather people. Unreal said the natives. Never had the heat held on this long for stretch for a long as they could remember.
“Says it’ll rain tomorrow. That’s the forecast.” Jude leaned over the fence, watching Marcia fill her buckets. “The smoke in the air is terrible. Can’t even see the moon or stars at night.”
Marcia wished he’d quit talking and help. “You don’t say. That’d sure be nice. We need it. The help, you know, with the smoke. ” One bucket filled, two more to go.
“I don’t remember a hot spell this bad. Nope, never temps this hot for this long. And all the fires. Terrible. Never in my all days.” Jude spit out his chew, stayed leaning on the fence.
No help, but three buckets filled up, so Marcia headed to the garden.
“Gotta go. Take care.” Jude wandered back to his house.
She nodded, busy carrying water. Potatoes, carrots, beets, tomatoes, corn all wanted her attention. Food for the winter needed water. A rainstorm sure would be nice right about now.
One bucket for the potatoes and tomatoes, the nightshades. One bucket for the roots, the carrots and beets. The last bucket went to tall grass, the corn. The thirsty garden soil sucked water like a sponge.
Thunder sounded in the distance. Marcia raised her head. ‘Thunder? Nah. Can’t be.’ She gathered the buckets, started back to the house.
A few raindrops hit her head. Then a few more. As soon as Marcia entered the kitchen, the heaven split open. Rain so heavy the trees, garden, garage, and street disappeared beyond the sheets of it. Thunder roared overhead. Rivers of water ran down the street toward the gutter, then overran the street into the yards. Lightning struck the tree in the front yard as the sound of thunder filled the house.
Marcia stood transfigured at the back door. It had been weeks since the last rain. Life-giving rain, cooling wind, and no damaging hail meant a wonderful renewing storm.
In about a half-hour, the storm blew itself out. The rain, thunder, wind, and lightning moved down the road. Left behind were a clean blue sky and fresh clean air courtesy of ozone.
Marcia stepped onto the path to the garden. All the green leaves seemed more vibrant than before the storm. It was as if they smiled at the sun now and thanked the rain for the shower that rinsed off the dust.
Finally, perhaps the drought was broken. Marcia breathed the fresh air, listened to the birds sing, and thanked God.