Sunday, August 16, 2009

signs of life

Between my apartment door and my plot in the p-patch--about a block's worth of walk--is the gazebo of the Cascade People's Center. During the day, the benches are empty, and underneath them are plastic grocery bags of stuff, a sleeping bag here, a piece of cardboard there. As soon as dusk approaches, the people who belong to those things return one by one and prepare to stretch out for the night. This is where they live, but they know to be scarce during the light.

The rats, more plentiful, aren't bound by the fear of being ushered away, and they are brazen even in the bright sunshine.

Across from the gazebo is a small grove of flowering trees, under which is ground cover with small, glossy leaves (cool in the heat of the day) and a few rocks and concrete sculptures with mosaic. During our hot spell a couple of weeks ago, the people who are normally gone by day stayed. They didn't sit in the gazebo, but they sat in the cool ground cover under the trees.

Today I walked past that spot and this is what I saw. A Ben and Jerry's container, filled with dried up roses, blueberries, and other flora. Left behind.

I wonder if it was a shrine. Or a memorial.

Or the kind of sign of civilization that causes people to adorn their dinner tables with vases of flowers.

I hope there was once ice cream in that container, and that the people who ate it had good company and together took some comfort from that cold deliciousness.

I thought about picking it up and throwing it away, but on second thought, I determined that it was not trash.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Water, water everywhere.

Let the record show: on August 13, 2009, at 5:30 PM, your blogmistress heard thunder. At 5:35 PM, she was sitting in her car with the rain coming down in torrents. At 5:40 PM, she drove past the garden, and could swear she saw the hollyhocks straining upward, the fruit trees smiling from canopy to roots.

And now, at home, the window is open and the rain is still coming down. Not an isolated shower, this. Not a tease of droplets, after a parched summer. No, this is the rain that is rhythmic, that creates puddles, that rolls in waves down Fairview toward Lake Union, that causes cars to rev and scream their way up Denny Hill.

One might curse it, if it were December and the veil of wet darkness had grown heavy and with months of winter yet to come.

But it's not. It's August, after dry, after hot, and with more dry forecast.

So for this evening, it is simply relief and grace. I'm tempted to go to the garden and remember what it feels like to pull a weed out of sodden ground, but instead, I will sit by the open window--TV off--with a cup of tea.

Eyes closed.

Just the sound of the rain.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Golden orbs. In the sky, on stalks.

On those quick trips to the garden, just to water, in between other errands, I rarely take my camera. But I always have my iPhone! If you have one and use its camera, you know that it tends to produce haze and halos around objects in bright light. In the case of these two images, it's fitting. It was blazing hot in the garden, and heat really seemed palpable and visible!