It started raining last week and forgot to stop. We ran from truck to truck, tucked tiny sprouts into muddied soil and watched, tensely, from the stone garage as puddles grew into lakes. Raking under the rain means an extra forty minutes of work, since the once loose, tilled dirt is now clay. We aren’t working today, because the rain hasn’t stopped.
Farmers talk a lot about the weather. Especially about rain. An extra inch of water, or lack of one, is a scary thing for someone who invests their life into the soil. Plants rot when they are too wet, bake in the sun when they are too dry and sometimes there’s nothing we can do.
It’s frightening to watch 3,000 young, spindly snapdragons quiver in gale force winds and fold under the hard thumping of a rainstorm. The same flowers that need to flank a dozen church pews, and rest, wrapped in satin ribbon, in a bride’s trembling, ecstatic hands. That’s the craziest part, that every bloom is anxiously anticipated. We wait and stare and plea with the clouds that they have mercy, so the anemone and foxglove and snapdragon can go to farmer’s market.
I now spend my mornings doing rain dances or hiding umbrellas and raincoats, warding away the swollen, grey signs of precipitation. I have to respect the weather now, like I never have before. Today i’m bargaining with the sun gods.