Wednesday, May 26, 2010

shower during thunderstorms

I am disgusting right now. Covered in the dirt, sweat, and grime that comes with planting pumpkins on a 90-degree afternoon. Planting pumpkins was the cool-down really. Before the simple task of putting ten started pumpkins into their mounds in the newly expanded section of the gardep—I had moved all the sheep's fencing onto new pasture, cleaned out the meat bird pen, and watered the screaming lettuce heads. I put new fence posts in the ground and ran fresh wire around the new pumpkins so the chickens and woodchucks would let them alone. Traps were set for the fox. Weeds were pulled from the straw mulch. Eggs were collected from the hay pile in the barn. I got lost in the effort.

It was one of those long evenings. I just kept working until it became dark. When the light was gone I locked the birds up in their coop, shut the door on the rabbit barn, and grabbed my banjo and set it by the glass doors. We had a date on the porch later.

The farm has no air conditioning. Just cold showers, ice cream, and a Westinghouse Fan from the 40s. It was a hot one, this day. By the time I came inside to make a coke float to cool off I realized it was probably going to be my dinner, so I didn't mind the extra scoop of Wilcox ice cream. It tasted amazing after all that. I drank it like I had never been thirstier. I will be eating much healthier when the garden is in full bloom and my freezer is full of chickens and rabbits, but today, I lack perfection. Lacking perfection is the rule around here.

Before my shower and after the farm was tucked in for the night, I went out on the deck to pluck a little with Gibson. Gibson sat beside me while I rocked in the plastic rocking chair and played the banjo. We both watched the sky light up with heat lightening. Then clouds swirled over the nearly full moon and we watched the wind move the grass. Thunder started to growl, somewhere far off. I played a waltz, slow like. "Lie Down," I asked Gibson and he obliged. Probably more out of weariness then obedience. I played lazy music and together we watched the storm come; a gift and respite.

I love thunderstorms. I think anyone who makes dramatic changes in their life does. For what is a thunderstorm than a loud change -all force and circumstance? It's scary and chaotic but most of us find such peace and beauty in that angry dance. I think that's because we know It's impermanent. We savor it while we can, knowing the whole time the danger will pass. Why can't we sit back and do that with all of life's changes? Aren't they all scary and fleeting? Aren't they all collateral damage in a better life? I'd like to think so. I'd like to think that even when life runs feral it has redemption in the aftermath.

My friend Paul once said, "Shower during thunderstorms. Makes you feel rich."

I love that.


Blogger Sense of Home Kitchen said...

Summer thunderstorms are terrific, such power, reminds us how humble we are, or should be.

We had one recently, made me smile; rain and nitrogen for the garden.

May 26, 2010 at 11:46 PM  
Blogger Kitchen Mama said...

Life is always changing. It's the one thing we can count on. Like you said, a thunderstorm is impermanence itself which is why for so many (myself included as a child) thunderstorms are horribly terrifying. I think it's terrific that you can embrace so much change, so many intense feelings (I still mourn for your birds), and love so much your life. "Change for the better requires effort. Change for the worse requires none."

May 26, 2010 at 11:52 PM  
Blogger Joleen said...

Beautiful! Welcome home Jenna. So kind of you to make a minute to keep in touch with us out here with you in spirit.

May 26, 2010 at 11:58 PM  
Blogger Angi said...

What a beautiful post. While I love thunderstorms, I don't think I could ever have put the reason why quite as perfectly as you did in this post.

May 27, 2010 at 12:14 AM  
Blogger Taryn Kae Wilson said...

Every writer needs inspiration. The beautiful life you've created constantly feeds you that inspiration so you can spread it to so many others. I enjoy your blog so much. Thank you.

May 27, 2010 at 12:21 AM  
Blogger Frugal David said...

Been reading your blog since I found you through MEN in '09. I can really relate to what you are experiencing right now as I am packing to move to my first farm on 6/1. My dream...Organic Gardening, Alpacas, and Chickens.

We just had a storm this evening and I just sat on the front porch and enjoyed the sounds and the smell. A perfect end to a hot day.

One last thing. A true farm doesn't need air conditioning because you would not appreciate the Coke float, an old fan, or a cold shower as much in a cool house.

May 27, 2010 at 12:55 AM  
Blogger Paula said...

Amen Frugal David!

Another great post Jenna.

May 27, 2010 at 1:20 AM  
Blogger Peacemom said...

lived through too many Florida hurricanes to ever love thunderstorms now! Sounds like you've had a good-sore-muscle-hard-work-day...I love those.

May 27, 2010 at 7:51 AM  
Blogger South Brunswick Public Library Blog said...

Love every word!

May 27, 2010 at 8:50 AM  
Blogger Carrie in Wisconsin said...

Just the type of post I needed to read. I needed your inspiration. Thank you!

May 27, 2010 at 10:40 AM  
Blogger Dreaming of Jeanie said...

Absolutely beautiful. There is nothing better than relaxing on your porch with a cool beverage after a long day of work. This encourages me to keep going and work harder..I will get where you are someday! Thank you for the post!

May 27, 2010 at 11:14 AM  
Blogger dc said...

What a beautiful post. When I lived in SW Virginia I enjoyed thunderstorms but here in Colorado it often means destruction so it's not as enjoyable. We dodged an awful hailstorm last night, 6-12 inches of orange sized hail to be exact!

May 27, 2010 at 11:45 AM  
Blogger kate said...

I loved thunderstorms until I witnessed the destructive power of lightning. A neighbor's house in upstate NY was destroyed by fire after a lightning strike two years ago. Last summer, lightning hit my cabin in Vermont, but fortunately only minor damage. It simply is not fun anymore. I braced myself for another hit during the storm yesterday.

May 27, 2010 at 12:12 PM  
Blogger greendria said...

Awesome thoughts, awesome writing, capturing the moment, as usual

May 27, 2010 at 1:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My oldest daughter and I love watching storms together. We get our blankies and some tea and sit out in the garage or under our covered patio. :)

May 27, 2010 at 1:11 PM  
Blogger Heather's Blog-o-rama said...

Loved this blog. In Southern Oregon...especially during the summer, it's not uncommon to get the occassional rain storm or thunderstorm. Those are special because the air is warm and balmy..and the warm rains come and it's such a relief :) :) :) I like that quote from your friend Paul about taking a shower in a thunderstorm :) :) Greetings from Oregon :)

May 27, 2010 at 5:03 PM  
Blogger SouthernHeart said...

I, too, live in Southern the Callahan Mountains. Last night, the sky turned dark, the winds blew hard and the rain pounded. The power left, though thankfully only briefly. We get thunder occasionally, but actually lightning happens only rarely. Since I'm from the South, I MISS the all-out thunderstorms which we rarely get here.

I'm glad you're enjoying your farm and Gibson!

May 27, 2010 at 6:25 PM  
Blogger Jessica said...

There is nothing better than a coke float after a hard day's work. :)

May 27, 2010 at 7:53 PM  
Blogger Lil said...

This is why I yelled and jumped up & down when you got your farm - because I knew we'd get posts like this. I planted my own tomato and squash plants for the first time a couple weeks ago, mainly because of the inspiration I get by reading this blog. Thank you, Jenna. Thank you so much for taking us along with you. :-)

May 27, 2010 at 8:04 PM  
Blogger Michelle said...

Beautiful Post. SOOO what I needed to read today. Thanks:-)

May 28, 2010 at 2:22 PM  
Blogger Tamara said...

I also love thunderstorms. We had one last night in Saskatchewan, but it was really cold (about 10C) so I did not stay out on my porch very long. I love the really hot and humid days that turn into wonderful warm summer thunderstorms. I can`t wait for that weather to come to Sask.

May 28, 2010 at 9:57 PM  

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