For the last few days of July and the early parts of August, clouds stuffed with thunderstorms have been hanging over the hilltops and pouring southward onto the earth where people grow gardens and birds take their baths. I run outside when the wind starts howling like a wild dog. I hide my flower pots underneath trees, stools, and makeshift shelters. I watch the hail come down like a war of words, dancing and shouting at the hearts of those who hear it.
"When will it stop?" neighbors shout from their porches. "Bring the car in, close the windows, goodbye flowers, goodbye vegetable garden." You'll hear their lament, you'll hear the thunder, and if you listen closely enough, you'll hear the gardener's heart break. All of those quiet hours spent digging and pruning, all of those promises lingering in the air of a still Autumn afternoon, all of your dreams gone south, into the dirt and into the rust of the morning after.
We often look outwards when summer is here — we dream in the cotton clouds hanging high above us, we linger in the tall blades of grass at our feet, we shine so brightly when we crane our necks to smell the wildflowers, and we stand so close to our own heaven in the beaming sun. I have only youth to remember at summertime's beginning. Sometimes, in the stories, and in my thoughts of summer, I am quick to forget about the thunderstorms.
The day after a storm always looks like a graveyard. Each turn on the compass is another broken branch, clogged storm drain, puddle of leftover flowers, or fruits from the garden sleeping miles away from where they once grew. I could weep as I count every petal I never got to press, I could hide until autumn replaces the summer, instead I go forth sweeping until sunshine stares time in the face. The gardener's broken heart, just like the lover's broken heart, heals in time.
I'm running outside to enjoy what's left of summer. I hope you are too.
The LocationThe Ravine behind my house.