When we planted our grass seed, we were so optimistic, so sure. We tilled the ground, and evened out dips and valleys with rich topsoil. We held our heads high as we put down the fertilizer. We proudly spread out the seeds and gently sprinkled on a healthy dose of peat moss. We loved our little grasslings, just stopping short of whispering sweet nothings while we worked.
We ever so carefully watered the seed in, being sure not to leave it too dry, or to get it too wet. Just the right amount of glisten in the afternoon sun. We were intentional with our movements, focused on our task, envisioning the lush lawn that would someday soon replace the dreary, neglected patch of dirt the previous home-owners had left behind.
When we were finished, we stood arm in arm on the deck, surveying our backdirt, soon to be backyard. We felt like royalty, no longer like hyenas relegated to a shadowy corner of the world. We looked up at the sky to give thanks, and noticed a few happy clouds that were rejoicing with us. All seemed to be right in the world.
As we went to bed that night, we checked the forecast. The weather app showed a little cloud and lightning bolt for the next few days, but we weren’t worried. How often are forecasts accurate? Surely there will be just a light rain, if any. Surely all the trees out back will break the fall of any stray raindrops and protect our green little babies. Surely the grass will get just the right amount of water to make it blissfully happy, and save us from using the hose for a few days.
Little did we know what was in store. That night, while we slept with visions of grass blades dancing in our heads, the entire sky opened up. Not just a crack or a sliver opening of the clouds: a complete unleashing of all the pressure that had been building up in those nimbostratus clouds ever since they were no more than innocent altocumulus clouds. Peals of thunder, cracks of lightning, hurling gusts of wind – the kind of weather that stormchasers’ dreams are made of. Trees ripped up by the roots, massive branches thrown into creeks, shingles ripped off rooftops, trampolines buffeted from one yard to another.
This went on for days. When the sun finally came out, and the last raindrops shook themselves off the leaves that had been strong enough to hold onto their limbs throughout the storm, we girded our loins and checked our yard. What a sight: deep canyons cut through the mud, piles of peat moss that had started to wash away only to get stuck on the side of tree trunks like moss, fallen branches crushing our seeds as far as the eye could see. All we could do was look from the sky to the ground and back again, awestruck and in mourning for our little green friends that would never see the light of day.
Now, a few weeks later, we have patches of delicate green strands strewn about our yard. It’s not quite the paradise we were hoping for, nor is it quite as hopeless as we thought it would be after the mighty rains of ott sixteen. We will add more grass seed soon, and steel ourselves to the outcome, but for now we are thankful for the grass we have, and a little more wary of clouds in the sky.
-Post in response to the daily prompt Sky
Photo by Aaron Burden – Unsplash