Rain for Earth Day
It seems so fitting that today, officially Earth Day, mother Earth rejuvenates this portion of bone dry Delmarva with a long, drenching, overnight rain. Gentle rain, the kind that sinks in little by little, doesn’t run off, but penetrates.
She keeps it up, too, with predictions of continued rain well into tomorrow.
Earth Day is a beautiful notion, a wonderful holiday. And worth considering all of the places on earth I’ve loved – sacred nature spaces, beautiful places I haven’t been yet – like the redwood forest, which has been calling to me in a whisper lately………
Of course I celebrate the Chesapeake on Earth Day, but also my memories of other places – the smell of the Mississippi River, the rolling hills of the Ozarks, the Maine coast and Lake Michigan…..Oregon. Utah. Orcas Island northwest of Seattle, and the Strait of Juan De Fuca where the man renting the boat wouldn’t let us take the boat out of his sight because we called the “chart” a “map”, but he pointed us to an island where we camped overnight and an angry raccoon walked right up to our picnic table demanding a plate of his own. The backyard of the house I grew up in, near Wilmington, where my Dad’s garden spelled out my name in lettuce seeds (my sister had her own Laurie-lettuce, too). Behind the yard were the woods where I learned about creeks and tadpoles, and ice skating and buttercups and beestings.
The flat plains of Nebraska, where miles of twisty roads in the Sandhills have used-up cowboy boots upside down on every single one of the fence posts, recycled for one last job. The sounds of the sandhill cranes and the look of the sky with so many in flight. The beaches in the Florida keys, where gentle waves invite you in to float, and the jellyfish look exactly like tufted plants – watch out! Waking up in the tent at the edge of the rocky cliff of Friendship Island, Maine, with the sound of lobstermen cackling across the water, and the cauldron full of fresh steamed mussels, that we pulled out of the gut with shovels from a canoe. The wild columbine Kevin picked for our 5th anniversary at the top of the mountain near Steamboat Springs, Colorado, when he was so frightened of the bear that he wouldn’t get out of the truck, and I tended the fire and cooked potatoes till he came out.
Champagne country, in northeast France – the train running through a hour of nothing but grape fields as far as your eyes can see. The tree we planted, a monkey tree – at Gigalto in Tuscany in 1994 – how big is it now, I wonder? The top of the hill in Montreal with the beautiful walking path, up, up, up. Hiking up a draw in west Texas, without a spot of water in sight. The Snowy Mountains in Wyoming, where I took the coldest swim of my life, and had trout for breakfast cooked with lemons and oranges on a campfire.
My first garden at my first house, in St. Louis – a tiny, urban, bricked perennial garden that Kevin and I made ourselves over 12 years, where I learned about raintrees and where we once watched two cardinals teach their fledgling to fly (I called in sick to watch that magnificent scene.) Fishing Creek, five hours straight north of here, where 23 years of creekside memories all mash together in my brain and heart, one big lovefest for nature in my mind.
Happy Earth Day. Let it rain.