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How It’ll Be

We’ve had enough rain the past few mornings to ease the worse of the dryness, which I’d begun to experience in a bodily way, as if the soil’s thirst were my own. But despite the rain, it remains dry, the stream is low, the pond is low, the pasture grass slow to recover. It has been hot, too, which I’ve found to be only as unpleasant as I believe it to be. Yesterday I ran in the thick of the heat and humidity, like pushing through a wall, my shirt drenched before I’d gone a mile, pleased with myself for the effort of it, though later I couldn’t seem to drink enough water to sate myself, and was glad I’d not pushed too hard.

Later, I drove one of my usual routes on my way to one of my usual destinations, passing one of my now-usual sights: two women, one middle-aged, one older (mother and daughter?) sitting in one of those self-contained swinging love seats in the lawn of a mobile home at the highway’s edge, enjoying the company of a large goat. I’ve passed this scene three times this summer, once with three women rather than two, but always the big goat, an astonishing presence, a real double-taker, all floppy ear and spindly leg, tall as a small pony. A person could ride a goat like that, I figure, a notion that elevates my delight even further.

Still later, on the cusp of dark – so early now – I dive into the blessed wet chill of the pond, rinse away the dirt of the day, let it mingle with the clean spring water bubbling from some crevice deep below. I don’t want summer to end. But it will, and soon, and I guess that’s just how it’ll be.

17 thoughts on “How It’ll Be”

  1. Each year it seems like I detect that first hint, maybe the air or the light, of the season to come, a little earlier. To me that observation serves as my working definition of getting older. Thanks for writing.

  2. No kidding! I believe that for you guys there’s a different feeling about winter. Winter out there is a whole other ballgame. Out here we (I) welcome it with JOY because now we get some rain! Your line “the worse of the dryness, which I’d begun to experience in a bodily way, as if the soil’s thirst were my own” I can so very much relate to. The soil, where it is not cultivated, has hardened as if to say “you’re not getting in here!” The soil clenched its fist against the deprivation.

    1. I live in Northern California and that line really stuck out to me as well–by the end of summer I feel parched along with everything else, and crave the relief of rain.

      1. What part of NoCal? We used to live west of Willows on a big cattle ranch. We always remarked to ourselves that Redding was the hottest place in the Valley. And now lovely Whiskeytown is a burned out wasteland. That gorgeous clear water will be cloudy when it finally does rain.

      2. Chico. Redding definitely takes the cake for high temps! I agree, the fires in Shasta are going to have another huge impact this winter. It’s very sobering.

  3. Ben-
    I too do not want summer to end. The days here in Minnesota are, suddenly it seems, dramatically shorter. Dark in the mornings when I arise and it feels as though there is no evening left any more.

    We all need to enjoy every last moment that we can.

    Be well.

  4. We once had a goat who was about the size of a small pony but who thought he was a lap dog. It was hard to convince him otherwise maybe because his name was Peanut. 🙂 Hope all is well with you and yours.
    By the way, did you have a new article printed in Outside magazine lately? Thought I read something about it somewhere but can’t find it now. Still waiting for another book from you sometime (if you’ve a mind to, that is.) 🙂

  5. I’m done with summer! No more! Go away! I hate you! I used to like you summer, but now you’re all hot, hellish and steamy. Like when my daughter takes a shower, doesn’t turn on the fan, with a bunch of urine in the toilet and she didn’t flush. Fall and spring are now my favorites, at least what’s left of them. I want a swing….

  6. Big thunder storms here last night and the forecast is for rain every day this week. Wish that we could send you 3 or 4 days of rain. What water source do you use to irrigate your crops, public water from Stannard Brook or private water from your drilled well?

    1. We haven’t irrigated at all this summer. Because we have good soils and because we utilize a lot of mulch, our garden has done very well, despite the dry weather. Pastures have been slow, tho.

      Sent from Mail for Windows 10

  7. Not being able to drink enough to feel replenished likely means your electrolytes were low (from sweating). Some of that fluid intake could be fruit juice (low sugar) and maybe add a salty snack. Drinking water helps with hydration but dilutes the remaining electrolytes. That’s why it feels unsatisfying even after drinking extra water. Commercial electrolytes often add things (including sugar) I don’t want, so I stick with a handful of pretzels or tortilla chips, a little fruit juice (or fresh fruit) and filtered water.

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