Saturday, June 11, 2011

AFTER THE STORM

The river in front of the cottage yesterday afternoon, before the storm. Now, the riffle and the big boulder you see in the lower right are all under water…and the water is still rising, though shouldn't reach any worrisome level. 
As I write this at 7:45 a.m. on the eleventh day of June, the sky is gray and heavily overcast, the light dim, and it is 65˚F outside. That is not a complaint. Neither is it when I say the ground is absolutely saturated. Nope, far as I'm concerned, these are all good things, minor blessings—right down to the sopping wet earth.

Why? Because I've spent all week—at least the part when I wasn't glued to my desk, writing—planting seeds and seedlings, building a couple of new flower beds, digging, trimming bushes, moving stones. Hard labor for this increasingly decrepit carcass. But work made seriously more difficult by blast-furnace bright skies and temperatures in the upper-80s and low-90s. Being more moose than manatee, I don't do hot weather well during the best of times—but when you jump from an April and May that seldom felt much warmer than March, straight into the tropics, with no time for acclimation…well, the body rebels, energy evaporates, and my will for self-inflicted abuse goes into hiding. 

Then, about 6:00 p.m. yesterday, the weather and world took a turn for the better when a broad band of severe thunderstorms moved in from the west. We got the whole shebang—lightening, thunder, fearsome winds, torrential downpours, hail. In ten minuted the temperature dropped twenty degrees. The river rose three feet in half an hour. A glorious gift! Plus it continued to rain sporadically throughout the evening. 

So now, with the river still on the rise, it is cool outside, there are clouds to act as a sun-screening umbrella, and the ground is soft—which means digging for the stone walkway I've decided to build will go much easier. What a beautiful Saturday!


Here's the same view of the river this morning. Unfortunately, the sun is now out…but it's still cool.
———————

14 comments:

Gail said...

HI GRIZZ_
I SO love the pictures of your river. And your words of the much needed torm and it's good outcomes is much like life when we "stir the pot" so to get at the residue and finally have a good stew. As I ride this storm I can only hope for a nice savory stew, pleasing to all.
Love to you my friend
Gail
peace.....

Arija said...

I love how well attuned you are to your surroundings, awareness is a gift to be treasured. I think that is why I like your blog so much.

Grizz………… said...

Gail…

Sometimes, we have to face and endure a storm, and sometimes, odd though it may sound, we can welcome one…but either way, it's always what's on the other side that counts. Your storm will pass. That's what storms do. Keep the faith, endure, welcome—savor.

AfromTO said...

hi-that's all

Grizz………… said...

Arija…

Awareness is being awake, looking around, seeing, understanding all the nuances and levels; awareness is being attuned to life. I've always tried to know life. Thank you for saying this.

Grizz………… said...

AfromTO…

That's fine. Hi back.

The Weaver of Grass said...

I wish I could hear the sound that river is making while it is in flood. Some friends of mine live near to our River Swale, which can rise 20 feet in an hour. When it is in flood they say it sounds like an express train. Interesting to see the two photographs for comparison.

Grizz………… said...

Weaver…

As counterintuitive as it sounds, and one of the first things I learned upon moving here, was when the river is high, it makes no sound you can hear from inside the cottage—and outside, standing on the bank, barely a long, sibilant whisper as it speeds along. So when I wake up in the night and hear only silence…I know the water is up.

However, at its normal level the river is noisy, a surprising, though friendly, roar you can hear from inside, as water rushes and pours over and between the rocks in the big riffle in front of the cottage.

George said...

After a period of stultifying heat with more humidity that breezes, it such a gift to be slammed with some serious wind and rain. I've been known to stand outdoors in the rain during these periods, just to feel the intimacy of rain, the immediacy of it, the way I did as a young boy. Stay cool, my friend. We've still got a way to go.

Grizz………… said...

George…

(Forgive the slow response…I went to bed early and didn't see your comment until this morning.)

Thankfully, the 90s-plus heat of last week has been replaced by temperatures in the 70s. I can deal with that—especially given the refreshing cool nights. At the moment, it is cloudy and 55˚F out, which is great; my kind of morning!

I couldn't agree more—a good round of wind and rain and stormy weather is often a wonderful blessing, as much so as a day of sun after a bitterly cold spell. And by the way, you are not the only one who has purposely stood outside during a rain, enjoying an elemental soaking. For me, such moments renew my connection to earth and life.

Take care. Keep the faith. Enjoy the blessings of today.

Jenn Jilks said...

Love your words and photos. Many thanks for your condolences. It hit hard.
The baby robin, and two kittens, have been a God send!

Thank you for visiting my cottage country !

Grizz………… said...

Jenn...

Loss is loss, and whether a pet or person, they're still family so far as I'm concerned, and it's only by degrees that the hurt differs.

Take care...

Teri and the cats of Curlz and Swirlz said...

Great 'before' and 'after' shots!

Grizz………… said...

Teri…

Thank you. I wanted to give readers a good idea of just how "up and down" the river can be in a short time.