Saturday, August 4, 2007


As I lay less than half awake this morning, the first tentative, irregular sounds plinked their way through the hum of the ceiling fan. I'd opened the windows last night to let the cool air in, and through those windows eventually came a welcome sound we've not heard much lately: gentle, steady rain.

I drove up the St. Olaf hill on Thursday and it reminded me a little of California's sun-bleached, oak-dotted hills. The sumac is already scarlet or beyond scarlet to brown in some locations. Lawns all over town are parched. The paper reports grave risk to our corn crops, which at least in this region were thriving so well earlier this season that they had doubled the pace of "knee high by the Fourth of July."

A long day's rain won't cure our deficit, but it's providing a much-needed drink to our plants and animals today, and a cool, soothing balm to our sun-dried souls.

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