Life has been almost too full at Full Moon Cottage this week.
Let me sum up: One month without rain became several months, and the lack of precipitation was then labeled a “severe drought” in our SE corner of the state. We’ve been rising earlier and earlier during this time, because the cooler dawn temperatures have allowed for easier pup-walking and what’s become increasingly stressful garden-tending. (Thankfully, there is cooler weather ahead, or else by the Solstice, we’d just lie down a few minutes around midnight and get up again.)
It’s been devastating to see our dear river dwindling and fading away, devoured by evaporation. Rainstorms have scattered all around us since April, but never here, as though an evil spell cast by some trickster had conjured an invisible wall around our little part of the Earth. Every time a storm blew toward us from the west or north, it dissipated to airy nothingness before any moisture fell. In our 25 years, the river has not been this low. Scorched and parched scenery, everywhere.
The gardens have continued to grow and bloom a bit, but have required 5-hour watering stints (both of us with hoses, on either side of the house) at least once a week, in searing heat.
We’ve headed out on adventures, when we could, to get away from the dismal drought and the dryness of land and spirit it’s caused. This week, we went to our local farmers’ market, held around the town square. Such a small town and insignificant event, it would seem, but it wasn’t, at all; this little gathering was our first maskless contact with other humans in over a year. (We’re still among the very few who wear them in stores, figuring if the employees have to wear them, we will, too. And I’m not anxious to tangle with the Delta variant and be one of those few who’s vaccinated and still catches Covid-19.)
But outside, on a lovely–finally cooler and breezy–day? It was like a hall pass to heaven-as-I-imagine-it. Being human with humans: what joy! Right out of our car, my darling tall Phillip helped this woman erect her stand.
And I had a fascinating visit with the interesting gentleman who, with his wife, runs the honey stand. He shared his history as a former store-owner, and then a painting contractor who’d done much of the stunning detail work on our town’s 19th-century buildings, and now, a purveyor of raw and processed honey, and maple syrup. There were a few other careers in there, but I was gentled into amazement, listening with tears stinging behind my sunglasses, drinking in another person’s story and marveling at the way our words and facial expressions opened us to each other. Such a miracle and profound gift. I’m not certain, but I think sparks of light passed between us. Maybe they always do, and it’s taken a pandemic for me to realize it, to see human connection for what it is. Certainly, we were nourished by these encounters. It’s led me to ponder the gift of life, the chance to be authentic with each other and to share our stories–how these things make us food for each other, and how this diet of each other’s humanity is required if, as a species, we’ll ever be truly healthy. Take and eat; offer and share; feed and be fed; be grateful, be grateful, be grateful.
Then, yesterday, I was gifted with one of Phillip’s Excellent Gluten-Free Brownies (also spirit food, in my book), hot from the oven at 6 A.M., to celebrate my birthday. Once again, it was time for the dreaded watering ordeal. But the forecast predicted a slight possibility of showers in the evening, so we decided to water the newbies and wait to see if rain (was there such a thing?) took care of the larger perennials later. As we watered the seedlings, a lovely storm once again passed mysteriously right over us…Here’s Phillip in the veggie garden, looking as though he’ll get very wet indeed. Nope. Not a drop. All thunder, no rain. So discouraging!
But what a treat to then spend the day relaxing with my beloveds. I received birthday greetings and calls from many friends and relations around the world, which really is the gift of celebrating a birthday at this point in my life: to be reminded how very rich I am in friends and family who bless and enlighten me with their stunning gifts. My goodness, the messages were touching. And I realized again how “full” I felt at day’s end. Fed by all that love.
The pandemic enforced a severe drought in human connection and contact. Until it was re-established, I hadn’t felt the depth of deprivation, but this week has really emphasized for me how we feed each other our humanity in our words and interactions. Or starve each other through our cruelty and ignorance.
And the best birthday gift (other than the 4-leggeds and Phillip) was delivered at 2 A.M. this morning: torrents and torrents of rain, well over an inch, falling into the arms of our gardens and the trees, bushes, thirsty birds and animals, and the dear river–all of us drinking in our beloved Mother Earth.
It is comforting in the night to speak to Love about one’s sorrows and worries, but it’s just extraordinarily fizzy and lightening to close one’s day with nothing but “thank you” on one’s lips. May we all have many more such days, and use our gifts to ensure others do, too. Watch for the sparks of light that pass between you as you eat and drink the moments of nourishing being you share, to fullness!
© Copyright of all visual and written materials on The Daily Round belongs solely to Catherine M. O’Meara, 2011-Present. Unauthorized use is strictly prohibited, without the author’s written approval. No one is authorized to use Catherine O’Meara’s copyrighted material for material gain without the author’s engagement and written permission. All other visual, written, and linked materials are credited to their authors. Thank you, and gentle peace.