Regardless of the downpours we have been getting recently, most of the state is still in an abnormally dry condition. I was going to mention it last week, but after that storm I thought maybe I was wrong. When I go out, however, the paths are still hard as concrete, the dirt pounded into a tan cement. The leaf litter is dry and dusty. Tiny tributary beds are parched and rocky. Swamps are dried to their black silt bottom. And there is not a mushroom to be found. I really thought they were coming, but it was only wishful thinking. I check all my fruitful spots with hope, but I always walk away crestfallen.
As we’ve all been saying a lot lately: it could be worse. The streams are running quite well, actually, and they are cool with the addition of the rain. I’ve been lucky enough to not have to water the garden too much. The downpours soak the soil, and it stays damp until it gets baked out in a day or two. The front lawn is actually green. In fact, the mature green of summer growth is epic. The green is so pervasive, it’s dizzying, and it makes it hard to see anything but a curtain of green. Much like how winter is a scrim of white and gray.
August is always hard to get through. The heat and humidity slow you down. I still manage two to four miles a day, but it’s hard to be motivated. Even the bluebirds perching on the wires off the porch are panting, their beaks open as they scan the lawn for bugs. Everything has slowed down, and while summer always has this quality, I’m pretty sure this year is poignantly so. We really have no choice but to be resilient.
I’ve been in a reading drought for a while now, and nothing has taken hold although I have been trying. If I can’t read then some integral part of me is missing. I pushed myself to find a book, a life preserver to pull me from this dilemma. (Holy mixed metaphors!) In any event, I got Gathering Moss by Robin Wall Kimmerer out from the library, and I am pulled aloft. It’s such a good book–you might have heard Braiding Sweetgrass, her most recent book. I really appreciate her writing! Let me know if you are reading anything great–I’ll be done with this book soon.