Saturday, May 31, 2008
Hail Storm Shreds My Garden
When I was young, I was often cared for by E, an elderly black lady who had helped to raise my father, and then a generation later, my brother and me. During thunderstorms, she made Barry and me lie quietly on the bed until the tempest had blown over. We always wanted to play with our fire trucks, and I asked her once why we had to stop playing just because it was storming outside.
"The Lord is working," she said, "and you ought to show respect."
Today I witnessed a storm, for which the only proper response is silent awe.
Never in my life have I seen such . For more than an hour, hailstones pelted the city like rocks hurled by an angry god. The wind roared and torrential rains poured from the sky. Three times the onslaught eased, only to begin again with renewed fury. Windblown hail slammed into the windows like bullets, and it seemed like the sky had shattered and the whole of heaven was falling, hurtling to the ground in icy shards.
When the sky at last cleared, I ventured cautiously outside and found my garden in shreds, with 2 inches of ice around the battered stalks..
Every squash, zucchini, bean, and pea plant in Teresa's straw bale garden was stripped of its leaves. She is very discouraged, because she's worked so hard on her garden--it was her first one-- and was looking forward to fresh yellow squash in a couple of weeks.
From our front yard, I could hear rushing water and knew that our quiet little creek at the end of the street must have become a river...
Down in the valley where the creek runs, a heavy fog had settled, turning an ordinary suburban street into a surreal landscape of light and shadow, with ghostly figures appearing and disappearing into the mist...