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It’s Raining, It’s Pouring

I woke up early this morning to a powerful thunderstorm. There are times when it is very clear to me that we’re mere mortals on this earth, and big storms like this bring on that feeling.

Flowers from JuneThe ground has been parched. Our new rhubarb plant has been growing in spite of it all. However, the one lone perennial that made it through the winter in my new sunshine-flowerbed I attempted last year was starting to have tired and droopy leaves. I just ran out to the car during a lull in the rain and those leaves are happy again.

It’s amusing to me that this somewhat reluctant gardener spent hours planting and watering last year… six different types of plants transplanted from June’s garden (see photo from last year)… yet the one plant that returned this spring was a “volunteer,” a plant that came along for the ride though unintended. It’s a beautiful thing, dark green leaves with light purple flowers, about knee high. But it grows alone in the back yard, looking like a weed because it is solitary.

I did truly enjoy the plants last year, but it’s amusing that June gifted them to me because they were just sure to come back with little fuss. Our soil is just not good for most plants, I think. The house is old enough that this part of the yard was a dump/burning pit at one point (this house once had a cistern, a coal bin and an outhouse, and may have been the only house on the block for perhaps 20 years). When we dig to plant things, we are always finding broken dishes and bottles. It must be too forbidding for many plants.

The Fabulous HeftonesI hope next year I’ll give myself some time in the spring to do a bit of planting. Or maybe in the fall we will plant daylilies, which thrive in the sunny spots of this yard. I’m all for giving in to what works. Our front yard is all shade, and we have hostas and coral bells. The sunny spots love peonies and lilies. Now if I can find a few more things, that will bloom late summer and be happy in sun and poor soil, and I’ll be good. I usually try one new thing each year. I guess this year it was rhubarb.

But back to the rain… I think it’s good to reflect on the impermanence of it all if we don’t stay stuck there. After all, isn’t it the fragility of life that makes the sweet times that much sweeter? And when it pours in absolute buckets, are we not forced to stay inside, stay still, and do something different, perhaps? It is my tendency to go “running errands” and get stuck talking with someone. Yesterday I did that, both at Threadbear and Rae’s shop, and by the time I got home it was Habibi Dancers’ rehearsal time, so I didn’t get time in the studio. But today it pours buckets. And today I’ll stay in and work with polymer clay.

Brian and I will be singing this weekend as The Fabulous Heftones (photo above left from Oct. 2005/Indianapolis). The show is at the Nature Center in Kalamazoo/Coopers Glen Festival this Saturday 8/26 at 5:45pm. I’m inspired to get out the polymer clay and make a few Hershberger Art Kazoos for the occasion. I have one left from New York Ukefest, and since folks call Kalamazoo by the nickname Kazoo, I somehow feel I need to bring a few along with our CDs to sell.Hershberger Art Kazoo by LynnH

It’s interesting, every time I sit down to make these they have a different look. Most of the ones on my (very old) polymer clay website were textured, with slices of polymer motifs on the surface. Now I’m more inclined to make them with the motifs as almost a “fabric” which upholsters the kazoo. The one shown here has dots which are part of the fabric/surface and checkerboards sitting on top for texture. Even my colors change from session to session.

The rain today will hopefully encourage me to stay put in the house, sit down at the polymer clay table and work sitting still. I’m not so good at sitting unless it’s at the computer. Even knitting only holds my attention for not so long on a typical day. But I’ll put on some music (Annette Hanshaw, early jazz singer from about 1925-1929, I’m hooked) and I’ll see what I can do.

Meanwhile, here’s a poem about rain that I never tire of:

Rain
©1966 by Adrian Keith Smith
Age 4
New Zealand

From the Book:
Miracles, Poems by children of the English-speaking world
Collected by Richard Lewis
Simon and Schuster, 1966

The rain screws up its face

and falls to bits.

Then it makes itself again.

Only the rain can make itself again.

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