And then the rains came

Good lord. It was quiet. Not a sound. No buffeting against the windows, no howling in the eaves, no great whoosh in the treetops. No parched wind.

Maggie’ eyes slid open, acknowledging the advent of another day. Perhaps this one would be without wind ripping through her hair, tearing her clothes, percolating through her soul.

When was the last time she’d felt some peace? Slowly, she brought her feet to the floor.

A few minutes later, coffee in hand, Maggie wandered out onto the deck. There were clouds, low, ominous. Around her was the evidence of two months of wind and dry weather. The elephant ears, struggling to survive, were tattered and torn, edges browned and crisp. It was hard to remember the gaudy two-metre display they’d put on last summer. Was that the same species as this year’s forlorn specimens?

She shifted her cup into the other hand. Last spring Derek had been alive. This time last year, they’d only just found out about his cancer. The battle was all ahead of them, and they hadn’t a clue how it would turn out.

The whole garden was a mess, really, ripped to shreds by the heat, the drought and the winds. What had she been thinking, a tropical garden in this country that swung between wet and dry like a teenager in love?

A thought niggled. Oh god! The quilting club, due at 10:00. She stepped back in to glance at the clock. Barely an hour. Time to swing into gear. Shower, dress, swipe of mascara, earrings. Wipe down the counter, set out the coffee cake, put the kettle on. Plates, napkins. Cups and saucers, clatter dispelling the quiet.

She slipped into Derek’s office, no, the sewing room, to get the bit of quilt she’d been working on as respite from the gardens and from the wind. She ran an index finger over the appliqued chicken, its rosy comb, the strawberries that served as a border.

She cocked an ear: was that a spatter of rain?

Doorbell. Just as Maggie reached the front door, where Rosemary, Pat and Jeanie were hovering under the canopy, the skies opened. There was a sudden cacophony of laughing, pelting rain, screeches, the doorbell finishing its long chant. Rosemary reached for her, enveloping her in a hug while the water tipped out of the sky overhead.

Helpless again the onslaught, the tears came. “It’s been so dry,” Maggie hiccoughed, clutching the patchwork chicken as she rocked in Rosemarie’s arms. “I don’t know why I’m crying, it’s the bloody wind, I feel like an idiot. It’s been so dry…” She gulped for breath.

“Well, we’re getting rain now. It’s going to be all right,” Rosemarie murmured, holding her tight. Pat poured boiling water into the teapot and Jeanie fished around for a knife to cut the cake, making easy conversation as they did so. The elephant ears reached their scruffy leaves to face the tumult and the rains came down.

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1 Comment

  1. So warm and moving.


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