14 Aug 2009

Après la Deluge…

It is best to read the weather forecast before praying for rain.
~Mark Twain


I am, by nature, an optimist. Which means that I will plant seeds in August when the packet clearly says Sow May to July. Who knew that two days after sprinkling our seeds (and hopes) into the ground, there would be monsoon conditions over North London?

We'd wished for clement weather to
coax our seeds into new life. Had we been given a choice, I imagine the order would have been for a gentle blanket of Irish rain, preferably in the morning, to balance the scorch of summer sunshine.

After tending to the Veg Patch in the early morning sun, some of our group headed off for a day out at the seaside. Within hours, an overcast sky had darkened to produce a heavy deluge(* dictionary moment below!) of rain of some 8 hours duration. Flowerbeds filled like ponds, unable to drain the water away fast enough, and, as the rain continued on (and on, and on), I pictured our little Veg Patch seeds floating away on the tide. We'd already been scuppered by a skulk of foxes enjoying the smell of fresh compost and now it was Mother Nature's turn.

And what of our friends struggling soggily back from Southend? Not a bit of it. They stepped, bone dry, out of the train station in a moment of light drizzle. "Rain? …What rain? We've had a smashing day and the first few drops we've seen was one station back down the line!"

Really, you couldn't make it up if you tried.

* I love the origins of language. So, for anyone, like me, who thinks about such things, the meaning of Deluge is literally 'washed away' from the Latin (diluere/diluvium) and thence to Old French (diluve) and to late Middle English. So now you know.

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