Storm over the city



The heat and heavy air blanket the whole city, drawing moisture from the great river and from the full young foliage that crowns the trees.  The weather-man says there is a storm warning but we are so blase after our terrible winter that we toss our heads and sneer a little.   The weather is threatening up to the range of mountains north of the city.  The garden sits waiting.  Magnificent large pale blue irises emit a scent like cheap candy, intoxicating on the air now starting to stir.  The good gardener stakes the tall stems glancing anxiously at the darkened sky.  Flies appear out of nowhere and buzz around the kitchen door.  A startled bird flutters to her nest.  A wind tosses the old elm tree in the lane and suddenly the sky becomes dark grey.  The light disappears.  A few drops begin to fall and it is time to come in.  The atmosphere is still stifling in the house but the rain has begun in earnest now.  Oh, a visitor hurrying in out of the rain, just in time.  I give him a tall glass of water and we sit in the kitchen to watch the storm, chatting and laughing.  A jagged fork of lightening pierces the grey clouds.  The rain comes down in torrents now but it soon blows over.  How helpless we are in the face of nature, but glad too, admiring everything.  We are the face of nature too, or part of it, moved and moving.  In my corner of town no great damage but elsewhere flooded basements and washed out garden parties.  The irises still stand up, haughty and queens if the garden. . . for this week.   Peonies next and then roses, already waiting in the wings.  And below, the new front garden in its infancy.  I’ll keep you posted on its progress.

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