Written by Sherry
Tuesday, 11 August 2009 07:52
This has been a essentially Colorado morning - the sort of morning I would never expect to have in Seattle.
First off, we had one of those killer hail storms last night - the worst we've seen in the 8 years we have been here. It was the prospect of such storms in years past that would send me out frantically throughout June and July to cover newly planted perennials nearly every afternoon. Fr. Mike used to find my anxiety funny.
HA! He should have witnessed those 15 minutes last night as the backyard turned white with bean sized hail. Dominicans who laugh at me now will get what they deserve.
Since it happened just before sunset and the hail covered everything, there was no point in going out in inspecting the damage right away. Much better after a good night's sleep and a strong latte. And consulting the Hail chapter of one of my mainstays, The Undaunted Garden, which is all about gardening in the challenging climate of the Rocky Mountains and the High Plains. Gardening books written for the Pacific Northwest have chapters on rain and slugs, not hail.
I was out at first light - and happy to discover that the damage was not nearly as bad as it looked. Most of the perennials were chosen specifically with this climate and the possibility of hail in mind - tough, xeric, cold hardy, and narrow leafed. The black eyed Susans and penstemons laughed at the storm the way St. Teresa of Avila laughed when she was told that she had been reported to the Spanish Inquisition. Resilient and undaunted. A sense of humor goes a long way at this altitude.
The California poppies had already been decimated by the hail storm two weeks ago, so this one made no difference. Even my my newly planted roses which had struggled constantly with poor drainage and hail, seemed unfazed. That which does not kill them apparently makes them stronger. Thank God.
I had just reached this cheering conclusion when a group of older women who walk the park every morning, called to me: "You have deer in your yard!" Amazingly, in the spot by the back fence where I had just stood 3 minutes earlier, were two does. They looked a bit trapped between the fence, the women, and me now contemplating them with wide eyes. But that didn't last long, As soon as the women moved a few yards down the trail, they lightly leapt over the fence from a standing start and were trotting off. I had wondered when a deer would come and pay a visit and if they could jump the fence and now I had my answer. Fortunately, I haven't planted a vegetable garden which is better known locally as a "deer salad bar".
Just at that moment, the waterfall started up. Nature's loveliest on a timer. 7 am to 9:30pm. With a newly created 30 foot stream that snakes along the shade line of the silver maple tree, passes through a small pool and a couple little falls on the way down and then pours over the wall into a small pool and bed of stones. It is not finished but already the sound of the falls and the light shimmering on the moving water has transfigured the whole backyard.
And my sense of relief, joy, and gratitude was complete. Blessed be God in all his gifts.