Thursday, July 5, 8:13 p.m., After Rain

Apricots ripen in rain.

The first real rain of the year. Not even deep, but enough to form puddles, a rain that cools and moistens everything. Not dark yet, and 62 degrees, the day’s low. Nighthawks drone. Beth has left, my bones have stretched from Francisco yoga. The walnut is watered, the sumac, and now everything else. Weedy goldenrod has been pulled, this patch needs to be hoed and mulched with paper and bark. The first white echinacea is blooming. The Mexican hats which normally don’t open til August are almost done. Everything looks splendid from the work my garden helpers have done, from my own perseverance over the years. The penstemons are finished except for the last two blooms on fruticosus. Chocolate peppers, one, two, three, abundantly forming fruit on this little potted bush that overwintered in the sunroom, and blooms keep coming, a little bonsai pepper plant. Chris’s pepper tree shows a dozen little pale fruits that will open to red, orange, yellow, also overwintered by the grace of my closest friends. Geraniums rebloom for summer, all the houseplants outside lush with this moisture. Dogs romp as they’re meant to, surgery healed. After rain, bees are still working at the threshold of the hive. Hummingbirds buzzing about the feeders, almost an hour til dark.

“The Devil’s beating his wife,” the Colonel taught me young, when sun shined during rain. What kind of message is that?

Last light crosses treetops below a blanket of welcome clouds. Drizzles. The first rainbow of the summer!

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