Between the Waters

Dog Days

By: EarlB, 1:38 AM GMT on August 21, 2009

They're called the "Dog Days" and by today, August 20, they are actually
past by many standards. My Mom didn't know anything about Sirius
(the star, not the music system (well, she didn't know about the
music connection, either!)). What she did know about was the miserably
hot and humid weather of late summer. She didn't ever consider installing
an air conditioner (she survived for 76 years without a good night's sleep
during the month of august), instead she chose to sleep on the floor
in front of an open door during the hottest month. When I put an air
conditioner in her bedroom, she chose not to turn it on! The curse of
"the depression" years, years of deprivation, never unlearned.

Now, air conditioning is the standard for my generation, in the home,
at work, in the automobile (I learned my lesson in an August, ten-hour-
long drive in my last un-air conditioned, manual transmission automobile),
at least it is standard here along the mid-atlantic's hazy, hot and humid

"Don't bother the dogs" (if you could even find them in their secret bare-
earth scrapes under the front porch), she would say. The morning grass
would be sopping wet with dew. The afternoon air would be loud with the
screaming of the locusts (you might remember my feelings about the cicada's
love call). The late evening to early morning skies would belong to the
acrobatic ballet of mosquito and bat.

It's hot! Leave me alone. The dog days are here.



By: EarlB, 1:28 AM GMT on August 05, 2009

Dirty hands clasped in prayer,
Dusty fingers raised to the sky,
Pleading for the same blessing.

It had been weeks since the last rain, soybeans had
leaves folded upright keeping their remaining moisture
a secret from the sun, the leaves of the corn had long
since rolled themselves into scrolls to preserve their
turgor. Day after day we all were fed on promises of rain.
Empty promises, empty bellies.

Persistence is born of hope,
Survival of hopelessness.

Then it rained, hard enough to pry open the leaves, hard
enough to scrub everything clean: leaves and faith. Green
is the color of life and hope.

Hands spread in alleluia,
Fingers unclenched, claws no more.
Faith restored by the rain.


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