The clouds…oh my. All July they billowed and ballooned, mounds of meringue on steroids, dolloped atop the layer of dense woods of hemlock and cherry and maple that abutt the farm fields surrounding Neil’s barn.
Time was suspended–held in aspic, or hostage, or in some cosmic equation that has not yet been proven by scientists, but everyone who has experienced it knows exists. Watches were left on the dresser top, and farm tans formed instead around T-shirt necklines and tank tops. This was my second summer here, and there was work to be done.
A little garden pond needed relining, and so (between deluges of hard summer rain) we hooked up the pump to drain it. When it got down to a thin layer of silt and mud, dozens of tadpoles made their presence known, reminding us of how we all began. Vigilant to spot a telltale bubble of life–another to save!–we scooped them up and into a plastic tub, drove down the road in the pickup truck, and released them into a pond made by nature where they could thrive as intended, in froggy splendor.
The rocks…oh my. They lined the pond’s edge and had to be moved in order to take out the old plastic liner. Dozens of rocks, relocated off to the side, or up to the deck. Neil had originally hauled them from down the road. Sandstone, mostly flat, and free for the taking. Some were to be wire-brushed for the future hearth, and the rest were to weigh down the new pond liner and be artfully arranged around the edges, and to support and showcase a modest waterfall.
I worked until I got too hot and tired. Then we filled the pond with clear water and I floated with one lone frog who either refused to relocate or was our first tenant. I looked up to the sky and my eyes rested on the clouds. Atomic, apocalyptic, pillows for witnessing the end of the world. Then I saw a face in the clouds, and an elephant, and I smiled.
Maybe tomorrow would come; maybe not.
It was all okay.
words & photo copyright Sharon Watts 2013