peace of a day

A rain storm is coming in.  Slowly.  I sit on our front porch tapping on the laptop. It was cool, sunny and breezy this early morning and I checked the weather when I woke up.  Giving Julia the choice of a morning bike ride or walk, she chose the ride.  

Biking has been a very long process for Julia.  It took a long time to learn to pedal, and then to balance, and then, even after balancing, it has been years of practice to get her to the point of riding steady enough to do it in the street.  Our shut down lives have yielded a bonus of empty streets.  Julia is riding on quiet streets, and occasionally rides on streets that get a few cars often.  She is finally steady enough to be able to ride on smooth, wide sidewalks.  In Madison, we had the benefit of being close enough to a small bay to ride around.  Fortunately, this year I think she is ready for streets.

This porch is deep enough for a slightly blow-ly storm.  I could wish for deeper and this storm may chase me inside.  But this, sitting on a porch on an early summer afternoon watching a rain storm come in is a pleasure that I have not indulged in for a very long time.  I didn’t have this kind of porch on any house that I’ve ever owned.  Neither did my parents.  However, our great friends, Joe and Mary Kawenski, had a house with a deep porch, and as a kid I watched rain and lightening and listened to thunder from that porch.

If there is to be a dream house, a deep porch to sit through a storm on would be a definite wish.  I am no longer sure that there needs to be a dream house.  I don’t want to live in it alone no matter how perfect it could be.  I do, however, miss, just slightly, house projects.  Yes, old houses eat money and perfection is never possible but I miss the ability to please myself—a bedroom of deep blue, a kitchen designed in a way that everything has a place. Quiet perfection.

But now, the storm chases me inside.  And I have to check for wet window sills as well.

We need the rain.  At least, my little garden patch does.  I water often but there is nothing like a rain to soak roots.  When I am watering, I think of much earlier gardeners who had to haul buckets of water from a well or a stream. How much more work to make food, and food that was not easily found at the supermarket or vegetable stand.  

Just before the rain, in fact as the first few tentative drops were falling, I picked a few herbs—basil, cilantro, parsley and mint—and lettuce for tonight’s meal.  I would have waited another week or so for the herbs but I am at the end of my groceries and need to shop in another day or so.  I can never keep the soft herbs the entire two weeks although with parsley almost makes it.  I know the cilantro will bolt as soon as hot days set in but I should be supplied with parsley, basil and mint (3 kinds in pots) for the whole summer and fall. 

I am enjoying this garden.

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