The summer rains woke me this morning. Typically, it is the sun peeking through the white curtains in our bedroom or the first tweets of our neighborhood birds that welcome me to the new day. The earth needed some fresh rain water in my spot of the world. And so it did just that, watered our flowers, plants, and grass to a vivid green. “Aw”, my green friends say. What a lovely, milder day of summer we had today.
My 3-mile power walk will need to wait until tomorrow. During our morning computer screen break between rains, Dean and I took a casual walk up the street to the newly opened coffee shop. A unique place, a coffee roaster situated in an old auto brake shop, Upshot Coffee Brake Shop. Dean treats himself to a cappuccino, and I to a herbal tea. I think this new establishment will be a once-in-awhile daytime perch for us during these mundane work-from-home arrangements, like it was today. Make it a special walk for a special moment in time.
I took my antihistamine this morning as advised by my allergist. When the temperatures get under 50, that is when my cold-allergy symptoms such as sneezing, a runny nose, and joint aches start up. This was the 2nd morning in a row for more autumn-like weather, and today a cold rain to boot. Feeling a little edgy at the office, I needed to get outside, rain or not at my lunch break. I bundle myself in my rain jacket, already in jeans and boots this casual Friday. My long 4-block stroll in the autumn rain was delightfully quiet. The outdoors, “mother nature” calms me. Things do not seem so big anymore in the vastness of the sky and trees. I warmed up with a cup of hot tea when back at my desk.
My Minnesota friends have had the white fluffy stuff this week. Last weekend in Kansas City, a cold rain pretty much non-stop for 2 days. On the east side of Missouri the cold front finally came. We went from August to November weather conditions in 2 days. Our tomato plants situated in a screen house in rural St. Charles County may experience their first frost tonight. This weekend’s visit to the farm will probably include picking green tomatoes, and next week preparing green tomato preserves. I have housed my perennials and tropical plants in the house, basement, or garage for the next 5 or 6 months.
Autumn Rain by Gerry Legister
When we see summer changes
The clothes we wear quickly disappear,
And the next season rearranges
Clouds more fastidious in the atmosphere.
The fall is here; it means a new challenge
For our clothes, shoes and hair
From the warmth of summer to darker rage
Autumn quietly drifts in unaware.
Let the autumn rain fall upon you,
Let the autumn rain beat upon the trees
Until the leaves fall down and become new.
Let the autumn season fondly release
The changes that time replicates
Shadows on the floor and rain in the air,
With pools of water running off the trees
And wash down into the gutter.
Let the rain fall softly while you sleep
And make the rhythm night beat
With a lullaby playing upon the housetop,
A note of intrigue to adorn the light.
When pools of water from the sidewalk
Splash upon you with quick surprise,
It makes you walk with a watermark
To stain the perfect spot on our tresses.
Humidity dominated the air the past two days after a spell of crisp, clear mornings and evenings. The walks have been lovely. The leaves scurry about. Finally raindrops splatter the parched earth here in St. Charles County. The thunder rumbles. A lovely sound. Our Labrador, Midnight does not seem to mind it too much. It has been a long while to hear these stormy sounds. No walk outside tonight for safety sake. If it was just rain, well I would welcome a walk in the rain! I will finish my daily quota of steps indoors while vacuuming the floors.
The wind begun to rock the grass
With threatening tunes and low, —
He flung a menace at the earth,
A menace at the sky.
The leaves unhooked themselves from trees
And started all abroad;
The dust did scoop itself like hands
And throw away the road.
The wagons quickened on the streets,
The thunder hurried slow;
The lightning showed a yellow beak,
And then a livid claw.
The birds put up the bars to nests,
The cattle fled to barns;
There came one drop of giant rain,
And then, as if the hands
That held the dams had parted hold,
The waters wrecked the sky,
But overlooked my father’s house,
Just quartering a tree.
~ Emily Dickinson
A sprout, green shoots of hope appeared in the garden bed today. My chives have surfaced from its winter hibernation. It had been 10 weeks when we left the Deanna Greens greenhouse in Defiance, just before Thanksgiving. By lantern light we harvested all the herbs and greens we had left that evening. There had not been need to get to the farm since snow has been close to null, no need to check on the 3-season structure. Dean, Midnight, and I observed signs of where an animal had laid on the other side of the bed. Our labrador sniffed the area thoroughly “who has been sleeping in my bed?!”
This mild sunny afternoon in early February called my name to the countryside. Perusing our 3-season structure, and then for a long walk around Boone Hollow Farm with Dean and Midnight. Midnight lead the way up the hill, passed the farm neighbor’s sprouting garlic field we help plant in November. Then a stroll along the cedar ridge, down another neighbor’s gravel driveway, back near our greenhouse, then over to the barn, and circling the brush piles before our return to the greenhouse. Our landlord must have set the one brush pile on fire as there were a few lasting embers and a small trail of smoke surrounded by ashes. Present moment, mindful observations of nature. The walk and fresh air revived my soul after this weary week.
Hope is like those February sprouts of chives and garlic. Perennial faith believes a flourishing crop and bountiful harvest in the not too far future. Lasting embers will once again ablaze a fire to light up the darkness and give warm comfort. The ashes of cancer lie on the ground while my daughter lights the world with her strength, faith, and love.
Many times, life becomes one motion after another, autopilot. I write to think, to feel, to reconnect. I wrote a Haiku poem over a year ago after a creative co-worker during the holiday season was promoting some nontraditional interoffice good cheer with a Haiku contest on Haiku Day. I shared mine with my co-workers and here on my blog. See https://deannagreensandgardenart.wordpress.com/2011/12/22/happy-haiku-day/. I have an interest to continue this writing style, as it keeps me on a walk, and I feel during my walk. The Japanese refer to this as “ginko”, maybe because of the ginko trees they see during their walk.
Check out http://www.wikihow.com/Write-a-Haiku-Poem on the differences between English and Japanese haiku, and more details on this writing style. “Haiku uses an economy of words to paint a multi-tiered painting, without ‘telling all'”, according to the Wikipedia reference Garrison, Denis M. Hidden River: Haiku. Modern English Tanka Press. p. iii. ISBN 978-0-615-13825-1. Here is my Haiku after today’s walk at my lunch break …
Earth maken new life ~
Worm underneath sprouts of green
Orange breast robin feast.
This past weekend I had the opportunity to walk the streets of my town as my chauffeur hubby (our EarthDance Farm friends call him “Dean the Drivin Daffodil”) was out-of-town with the white whale van, and our jeep is still lame. Though I wanted to get to church for Saturday was the annual Remembrance Mass. My father had passed away 1 month ago, and we as a church community prayers said together for many other deceased families. Very moving ceremony, the grace of God was evident. The walk is about 2.5 miles, took 40 minutes and another 40 back home. Cool crisp frosty morning. It warmed up as the morning went along. I was fortunate to have sidewalks most of the route. Then Sunday, I walked the other direction about 1 mile to another church to assist with catering of donuts and coffee. Walked back home, though challenged with an area of no sidewalks, and no sign to indicate a warning of such. I had to cross a very busy road to find the sidewalk. Next week I will attend a lecture at Washington University in regards to street designs sponsored by TrailNet. Lector John Norquist, the president and CEO of the Congress for the New Urbanism will speak on some projects in the St. Louis area. Do you walk or ride a bike to church, work, or play? Please share your alternative transportation experiences.
Every Tuesday and Thursday the employees of St. Louis County have an opportunity to walk the streets of Clayton, Missouri. Our personal trainer from Gold’s Gym, Phil brings us out of our offices and work stations to the beautiful outdoors. Absorbing vitamin D in the sun and breathing fresher oxygen all the while exercising. In a fleeting moment I captured a photo while we waited for the traffic light to change. Happy walkers, we are!