Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Waiting For Rain....

"Marsh Pines", watercolor, 2008

Dark clouds slink by today - we are 
waiting for rain. Its been over three weeks since we 
have had a soaking storm.  Last summer, 
we had two months straight of pouring, 
soaking, monsoons. It was miserable. This summer, 
the land is parched, and I am watering more than
I ever have before. With heavy clay soil, 
I almost never water, or rather, until this year.
The other night, the mosses sang themselves
green in celebration of a thunderstorm, 
but today, they are back to brown, 
and I am wandering about on my 
mid-day garden stroll, hose in hand, 
making sure that nothing dies while 
 waiting for the rain that is 
suppose to come. 

brown mosses waiting for rain

The resiliency of the plants is truly something. 
The mosses look dead, but one rain 
and they are vibrant and reaching and
as lush as a jungle canopy. Though the lack of
rain is hard on the plants, I can handle this 
better than the monsoons of last 
summer - as long as my well keeps flowing 
and the farms keep harvesting.... 

Still working my way through a list of art-business 
tasks, I feel myself a stranger to the studio, 
and have written ORGANIZE STUDIO on my
calendar for tomorrow. Having cleared 
years of paintings and portfolios from 
my parents' basement in preparation
for their move, I have piles of old 
work to sort and store. Getting back 
into the studio, even to organize is a
way to re-connect and feel my work again.

"Cloud Shadow", watercolor, 2008

I know myself as a cyclical creator, 
and with all the varied things I do, 
I MUST be ok with this. Right now, 
I am clearing the fields, 
planting the seeds, 
organizing the tools, 
gathering my tribe. 

And until I begin again - fully - in the studio, 
I grow purple petunias that burst in abundance 
from the window boxes, and find the perfect, 
yellow-green pot for peach-colored blooms. 
I eat my meals at one of the garden tables, 
and look through the camera lens at the 
structures, colors and patterns of 
flowers, gathering information 
for my fall classes, and understanding the 
work of Georgia O'Keefe more and more.


Inside a petunia, a cathedral with stained glass, 
and the uncurling Queen Anne's Lace reveals 
its fractal form.

What was a bed of purple lupine gives way to a 
tangle of fleabane, bee balm and black-eyed susan. 

Year after year I intend to do something more 
orderly with this garden bed. Though it never 
seems to get done. And today, while wondering 
if that rain will ever come, I am in loving appreciation
of the native plants that put up with just about 
anything and fill in the holes with their 
wild abundance. 

Its their refusal to be orderly that I love, I realize, 
and that I can depend on them, even 
in a drought. Wild and made for this 
particular place. 


Sarah said...

Beautiful words about your beautiful garden. We have had 3 weeks of heat and it just rained on Monday which was lovely! Hope you get some soon.

Umā said...

As I read this beautiful post, I think the rain has finally arrived!

Acornmoon said...

Your paintings are full of atmosphere, very evocative of Japanese wood prints I think.

We have had some rain but the grass is still scorched and brown, it seems that we have had such an enormous amount of rain over the past few years and yet our reservoirs are almost empty. Like you we had monsoon like downpours last year and flooding. Something strange is happening to our weather.

You are wise to allow nature to decide the planting scheme, it looks very pretty.

Jasmine said...

A beautiful post. Your paintings are lovely. Your words about need for rain echo thoughts in some parts of England where there are hose pipe bans and fears of fires in nature reserves containing heather, gorse and bracken. I hope it rains for you and your vegetation soon xJ

mycuriousteaparty said...

Hi Valerianna

This is a beautiful post your watercolours and pictures from your forest garden are a joy, I hope you get some rain soon.

I am pleased to say that we have had our first rain (except for one short shower) since April, the earth is like sand, our grass has died except for an odd tuft here and there. The tree's are looking ok but getting their autumn leaves .... We are only in July!!

Our veggie plot is struggling.. how many watering cans can a girl carry??? Strangly the pumkins are doing well.. I thought that they needed a lot of water?

~ Julie

Valerianna said...

Hi all - its so interesting... after I wrote this post I thought.. oh, its kind of a mediocre post, but I wanted to keep posting at least once a week... Interesting that you've all seemed to like the post quite a bit!

Sarah - we did get rain, finally - in fact, it dripped all night and is raining off and on, gently today. The kind of rain that soaks in and nourishes deeply. yay!

m - yes, finally - and still going today at 2pm!

acornmoon - I hadn't thought of Japanese woodblocks in relation to these paintings, but I can see that now that you point it out! I DO so love those Japanese prints!

Jasmine - thanks... I appreciate the feedback on the paintings, I can't wait to get painting again and see what the new work will look like.

Julie- glad the pumpkins are doing well in spite of all the dryness. I have one growing in a quite unusual place having popped up from some compost I spread around. I'm letting it be and see if it makes it... I've had luck with them just finding their way and doing ok. Good luck with the rest of your veggie patch!

Tammie Lee said...

wishing you rain, your garden is lovely.

Danielle Barlow said...

Oh, our rainfall came with a vengeance this week. But, I love the way nature fills in all the gaps, unexpected treasures that pop up in times of hardship. I have a garden filled with poppies in this dry summer. I sowed seeds many years ago, and they often sow themselves, but I haven't had any come up for the last three years. It was lovely to see them return.

Lorna said...

Your place be one of true beauty, darling lass. I am thinking rainy thought for you and your greenery.

Jo Potter said...

This is a stunning post and I'm wishing you a few thunder storms!;-)
Your words and photos are very beautiful and I love your paintings.
I also like how you are so in touch with nature, looking closely at the textures and colours of plants around you.
Thank you for sharing your thoughts and feelings.
Also thanks for your lovely messages. I did have a few blog post problems!
Ziggy has kind of settled in his new home but he is still a little unsure of it.
Really lovely to see you again.:-)
Many fairy blessings.

Valerianna said...

Tammie Lee- no rain other than one day, whatever benefit that had seems to have melted away. Its hot and I can almost hear the flowers calling to me for water...

Danielle - sounds like a lovely garden gift- unexpected poppies, what a lovely surprise.

Line Lorna - thanks, we need all the rainy thoughts we can get!

Joanne - glad Ziggy is doing settling in, and glad you got through the blogger glitches, I look forward to knowing more about your new place. Hot, and waiting AGAIN for rain....

steven said...

valerianna it's so entirely true that what flourishes in a place is meant o be in that place. the wildflowers in my garden are so happy even though there's been no rain to speak of forever! the grass is struggling but then it's kentucky blue grass chiefly and i'm a very very long way from kentucky! beautiful post - i love the way you think out loud and the flowers and the moss - well moss and i are best friends! steven

Cobalt Violet said...

LOVE your flower photos and beautiful painting of "Marsh Pines." Really gorgeous.

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

All this lovely colour just makes me swoon! Beautiful.
Finally, we had rain yesterday. The air smells so sweet now, and the trees look so relieved.