I drink water I cut fruit

I shove my hand in the leafy wind

The lemon trees irrigate the pollen of summer

Green birds tear my dreams

I leave in a glance

Eyes wide where the world becomes again

Beautiful from the beginning to the measurement of the heart.

                                               (from “Sun the First” by Odysseas Elytis, trans. Olga Broumas)

It’s at this point in the summer that I wonder if an automated watering system might be a good idea. I spend the whole of every morning watering. Some of this means simply turning on a sprinkler — most of the vegetable garden is watered this way. But the decks, where I grow tomatoes and flowers, and which mostly receive direct sun for a good part of each day, need to be done with hoses, sometimes twice a day. I have waterwands set up on two decks as well as the lower level for the cucumber boxes and they leak. We replace the washers, tighten connections, but still…So the plants get soaked and so do I.  It’s nice, actually, to come in out of the direct heat and realize that my skirt is soaked and in the moving air of the ceiling fan, I feel quite cool.

If I didn’t have to move along each deck with a hose, I’d miss things. The scent of the “Gertrude Jekyll” roses — heady and rich:


Or realize the source of the sweet smell I woke to around 6, drifting in my bedroom window, the second flush of wisteria:


Or this little tree frog, huddled in a corner. It’s the same frog I moved yesterday to a cooler place, the damp soil of a pot of parsley. But here it is again:P1100444Or a corner of zinnias, not yet in direct sun but full of its colour:

P1100460And in a very faint breeze, I heard a sound I hadn’t heard before. Looking up, I realized it was the wind-chimes I made yesterday of clam shells and a few bones (a fish-jaw brought back from Ireland many years ago and a tiny fragment of vertebrae), hanging over the outdoor table like a chandelier. But with music!


4 thoughts on “soaked”

  1. This post is such a feast for the eyes, and through your words, for the other sense organs too. Love the tiny green tree frog! I feel a little chill when I read about your damp shirt, and am reminded of my own leaky hose. I can imagine the delicate sound of the clamshell wind-chimes–they’re beautiful. I’ve a soft spot for wind chimes. Looking at your photo, I suddenly thought about Aeolian harps, and just for fun, did a search for some images. Some lovely results! Wonderful poem excerpt to open your post. Ten of Elytis’ poems are up on the Poetry Foundation website, but not this one.

    1. Thanks, Chris. I picked up the clamshells the day my grand-daughter was born and they have something of her delicacy. Oh, and Elytis! He is a marvellous poet. This time of year the poems have such resonance — the dry heat, the rosemary, sunlight, wildfires. Years that appear endless/Even if you were born a day ago

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