Grass crunches, crackles beneath our feet and the setting strong summer sun as we tend to watering two needy gardens.
Weeks of scorching sun and thick heat transformed the spring greens from lush to tan to brown.
We don't water our grass during drought, John and I decide when the watering restrictions come out full force in our community; we conserve for the brand-new plants just transplanted into front beds and the vegetables that are fighting their way to peak faces toward the sun.
The Ficus bush is suffering, flashing us timid warning signs of browning leaves and drooping branches. So are some of the long thin blades of prairie grasses. Honestly, nothing is thriving and everything is screaming for water and attention and care and nutrients.
We power through the evenings after our little seedlings are tucked into bed and the dishes are cleaned and the house is picked up and the emails are responded to and business is given its needs and expend extra care in the front yard, trying to keep alive what's struggling against the harshest of elements.
I smile after weeks of tender care when everything greens and explodes in growth; we leave for a weekend confident that our plants are strong enough to make it two nights without our hands, garden hoses hovering.
It is dry; arid words hang still in the cooled night air. Our children slumber in the next room and we stare out at the lake, exhaustion heavy in our bodies and minds.
Without many more words, we retire to the cabin and into sleep promising to talk and connect the next day during the drive home.
But children clamor and traffic fights for my driver's attention and we lose shoes during pit stops and thoughts mid sentence and the elements win again.
What just two days ago boasted tiny bright yellow flowers now has crisped brown.
The St. John's Wort bushes take me by surprise as we pull up to our house, as I thought they were making it it, doing so well, blooming.
But two days. Just two days under intense heat and sun without water for two nights has left two of the five struggling to survive.
The sun, the dry, the wind storm that produced no rain, were just too much to withstand without tender care.
I all but jump out of the car, run to their aid with water and careful pruning, pulling away the weeds that could be sucking any of their nutrients and return inside frustrated and tired.
It's a week of craziness but with cooler temperatures.Thankfully, all the garden plants are all thriving again expect for the struggling St. John's Wort bushes that we just cannot seem to bring back to life.
And I am thankful for the plants that are green and beautiful and growing because the week demands full attention in other places almost every day of the week.
Every day John and I wake up and plant already-moving feet to carpet and sink sleepily into the mattress at night, thinking that maybe the next night will give opportunity to connect and talk and look into each other's open eyes for more than five seconds before closing lashes prevail.
They don't come back.
They don't revive. They stand almost completely brown, threatening to completely wither away, all signs of flower long faded.
I reel the hose and walk inside the house, surprised to find John standing in the living room instead of wrangling two little monkeys into states of sleep.
My eyes wander into the kitchen with the dinner dishes in the sink, greeting stains on the counter and laundry in a basket begging to be folded and put away.
But I see him more and though there are no signs of distress, the elements have been oppressive these past few weeks.
Now I know what happens in drought to even the strongest of plants if care isn't given daily attention.
And I'm not willing to let our roots go dry, flowers die, branches wither away.
So we water
and we welcome the flowers
to bloom from bud,
bright and vibrant
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