The rain was incessant this year.
The few hot days we had in early spring gave instant harbor to willing seeds. The warm soil pushed eager seedlings up to kiss the sun, daily bright breezes ruffled their tender new leaves, and all seemed right with the world.
And then the sky became choked with roiling clouds and the rain started. All through June and July, then into August, it rained. The newly planted lawn crusted over with algae in the sporadic sea of puddles and mud. The woodstove crackled and popped through the first 2 weeks of June, and finally went cold.
It seemed summer had in fact, arrived.
Each season brings it's own beasts and beauties. Last year, we struggled through brutally hot and dry conditions- so serious as to curtail the local apple harvest and require some livestock farmers to dig new wells and buy in water for their animals. But as with every season since the dawning of the planet, the climate cycles and changes as the planet stretches and breathes, the underlying tectonics creaking and groaning like old bones.
This year it rained.
But the rain brought with it bounty. Berries exploded from every stem- domestic and wild. Greens flourished, and all the bean plants drooped, weighed down with heavily loaded pods. In the house, I chased my tail, trying to keep up with the jam and jelly-making. As we approach the official end of summer, every horizontal surface fills with quarts, pints and half-pints of fruit and vegetable preserves of one kind or another.
And still it rained.
I actually like wet days. The steady thrum of the drops hitting my metal roof is comforting to me. I've always been drawn to water, just like my Celtic ancestors. The rain reminds me of my genetic heritage and soothes the fiery blood that seems to run in the veins of everyone who springs from Celtic nations.
I used to think that possession of such strong blood would make me impervious to the barbs and absurdities of my times. I've always been an outsider; shunned by all but a few through painfully horrible school years, even continuing to the end of my college days. Burdened with not only a propensity for belligerence and combativeness in my many opinions, I am the identical twin to a stunningly glamorous, socially accepted, and easy-to-get-along-with sister.
Most twins relish the unique ability to live identically- even dressing alike, marrying other twin sets, and living next door to each other. However, as in everything else, I fought it. Over the past 50 years of my life I've tried in nearly every way to be different from my sister- aside from being actually dead. (Which, if I'm to be honest, I did subconsciously attempt with years of eating disorders)
As I near my 51st year, I've been thrown into a vortex of self-examination. The onslaught of rainy days and jelly-making worked in my favor to insist that I face, and accept who and what I really am.
A twin. Part of someone else, but not really.
A woman. With her own opinions that are not always wrong.
A mother. Who's children have grown to be independent, interesting, productive adults.
A wife. The other half of a partnership in which I'm allowed to have dirty hair, cracked bare feet, and wrinkled clothes- and still be loved.
A free spirit. One that listens to the universe and will finally trust that it's ok to accept what it hears.
An Old Soul. With one foot firmly living in the past, petulant about the fake and artificial modern world, currently enslaved by political correctness, the internet and social media.
A survivor. Widowed at 30 and still never considering the status of VICTIM.
Writers and thinkers of past times were famously at odds with their surrounding societal norms. Its very easy to go along with the masses, but a different matter entirely to delve into one's inner machine and be willing to make the resulting product public.
C.S. Lewis, Dorothy Hartley, and Willa Cather. My top 3 favorite writers. They lived life by their own rules and terms. Sometimes they were accepted by the people of their times, and sometimes not. I admire and relate to them, but the words "role models" are a heinous, insipid pair of banal modern buzzwords, and I try never to use them. People should blaze their own trails, and not coast on the wake of those who actually think, and have thought for themselves- and gain a richness of spirit from even the mistakes they make.
And those are all risks I'm willing to take.