It'd be so easy for me to be oblivious to the lack of rain if I didn't have a garden. Day after day, week after week, I could celebrate picture-perfect, sunshiny days. There'd be no inconvenience of muddy floors created by little boys who trample in and out without noticing the dirt on their shoes. All my sheets and towels would have that fresh air, clean scent after hanging outside instead of in our musty basement. And everyday, my mood would be lifted by another day of sun to brighten things up and put a more optimistic spin on life. I can see how people could easily begin to hate rainy days. But when you grow things, and you depend upon both the rain and the sun to keep it all going, you learn that the blessing of sunshine can soon become too much of a good thing.
I planted our fall garden on the last day of August, and every other day since, we've been hand-watering it. It's been all hands on deck each time, as we hauled seven gallons each time to the chickens, rabbits, broccoli, kale and herbs. Ten days ago, when I looked at the forecast and saw yet another week ahead with not a drop of rain in it combined with record-breaking high temperatures, I wanted to throw down the watering cans and jugs and just say to heck with it all. Such is my relationship with gardening and relying on God's providence. Life would just be so much easier if I only had to rely upon myself and the farmers in Mexico.
But of course, I didn't give up because I don't know how to quit, both a virtue and a vice in my personality. We watered, and we prayed, and we watered some more. In particular, I asked our Blessed Mother to please tell Jesus we need some rain, and praying the rosary became my weekly Catholic version of a rain dance.
Three days ago, the forecast showed a blip of rain coming, beginning yesterday and continuing into today. I felt like a little kid two days away from Christmas morning. But yesterday came and went and we got not a drop. I began to consider hauling water to the garden, in part out of spite because it was Sunday, and I was a little miffed that God had not done his part as the meteorologist had promised. But I hesitated, and decided to keep holy the Lord's day anyway, and gave God a few more hours.
This morning, before sunrise, I was awoken by the whispering of the dogwood leaves as they soaked up the rainwater peculating through their wrinkled husks. By mid-day, the earth was back to life, with migrating thrushes playing in the puddles and the once wilted plants again standing up and looking towards the sky. With windows open, the breeze brought inside the smell of a re-hydrating forest, and the aroma reminded me of shuck beans cooking on my grandma's stove. Not a drop of this rain will go wasted as the land drinks it all up. In six hours, God gave my broccoli plants more water than I was able to give them in six weeks and once again, he made all things new. I did my part, small as it was, and he did his part, in spades. Just as he always does.
Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary, pray for us. And thanks for the rain.