waiting for enough rain, part 2.

06/28/2011

my previous post was an allusion to a letter written by Native American author Leslie Marmon Silko that touched me very deeply.  we read it in the book Storyteller, which i commend to you.  here is the letter:

The purple asters are growing in wide fields around the red rocks past Mesita clear to the Sedillo Grant.  This year there has been more rain than I have ever seen. Yesterday at Dripping Springs I saw a blue flower I had never seen before, something like an orchid, growing from a succulent leafless bulb. So many of these plants had never bloomed in my lifetime and so I had assumed these plants did not bloom; now I find that through all these years they were only waiting for enough rain.

I remember the stories they used to tell us about places that were meadows full of flowers or about canyons that had wide clear streams. I remember our amazement at these stories of lush grass and running water because the places they spoke of had all changed; the places they spoke of were dry and covered with tumbleweeds and all that was left of the streams were deep arroyos. But I understand now. I will remember this September like the remembered the meadows and streams; I will talk about the yellow beeweed solid on all the hills, and maybe my grandchildren will also be amazed and wonder what has become of the fields of wild asters and all the little toads that sang in the evening. maybe after they listen to me talking about this rainy lush September they will walk over the sandrock at the old house at Dripping Springs trying to imagine the pools of rainwater and the pollywogs of this year.

we just walked back from class.  there are clouds gathering in the north sky. they are dark gray and blue, almost the color of a deep bruise. the wind occasionally gusts.

the clouds gathered last night as well. we all agreed: it smelled like rain. one of four of us thought they felt a rain drop

but no more came.

we hope tonight they will release. they will bring relief.

then i will be able to tell you how the sage scents the air, the hills take on an entirely different hue of green, the dusty ground springs forth life unknown. these things i have been told, but do not yet know.

until then, we look to the sky

in hope.

and such longing brings one tear to fall from my eye.

not enough.

or is it?

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