Prayer, supplication, is born of self-pity. You pray when you are in difficulty, when there is sorrow; but when there is happiness, joy, there is no supplication. This self-pity, so deeply embedded in man, is the root of separation.
You may remember my ongoing supplication of the rain gods and goddesses last year at this time, my wailings and cajolings, flatterings and mutterings and for what, maybe three good rains all winter. How were we ever going to survive another year?
Now a year has passed, a new rainy season is here. There are forecasts predicting deluges thanks to El Nin͂o. Townships already are petitioning to have rations lifted. A storm is due in tonight that will “drench the Bay Area.” I type one-handed, my free hand holding the life preserver to my lips and I blow.
We’ve had several nice rains in November, small downpours, enough to flip the switch on the plants in the garden, to quicken what Thomas Hardy called “the ancient pulse of germ and birth.” Smells I don’t remember come into being; the loquat above the patio suffuses the air between the houses. It took me days to figure out where the smell was coming from. It has never bloomed so heavily.
What an odd year for plants. (Do gardeners say that every year?) The apple trees were total slackers. The one that usually is promiscuous with apples in July was just deciding to put out leaves then. The Pippins were hardly worth picking, the few that jays and squirrels hadn’t gotten to first.
Thrips have created an empire, on the ferns, the camellias, the rhododendron, the apple trees. Worst year ever. I wait to discover which plants, thanks to the rain, will outgrow the buggers. One of the camellias is practically naked, no unscathed leaves remaining.
I won’t pray for it. When there is happiness, there is no supplication. Let it rain.