The rain has been relentless, and not just here in the Battenkill Valley. My Twitter feed this morning was filled with flooding all over the world, mostly in Western Europe and those floods are echoing even worse flooding in India, as well as other areas smashed with heavy rains.
I was realizing how little I have hiked, rode the horses, shot my bow, and swam in the river this summer and it’s because most weeks have one nice day without heavy rain (if we are lucky - yesterday we cleaned the barn while it rained) and that is the day we scramble to do the outside work. In one blast of sunshine everything is weeded, mowed, fences set up, repaired, feed sacks moved around, muck and poop shoveled and that is how the sunny day goes.
It is demoralizing. The mud, the muck, the gray skies. The garden is actually too wet in places, making cucumbers rot on the vine and we already know winter will be months of bleak weather and energy draining and to have a summer just flattened by excess rain, without the joys of all the things I associate with summer - swimming in the river, long trail rides in the mountain, backpacking, etc. It’s all kinda a bummer.
But! I have to believe that this isn’t just climate change bringing us fresh hell. Don’t get me wrong, all this wild weather is 100% Climate Change related and a bill us humans are past-due in paying for - but I have to believe that as horrific as the weather has been and will be - that it also may bring us stretches of relief? Perhaps some stretches of insane beauty beautiful days? Like will all this rain make for an epic fall foliage season? A mild winter? Maybe our pipes won't freeze?! Gotta look for some sort of silver lining... I just pray it won’t be like that year America and Europe didn’t even have a summer post Krakatoa. Which was the HUGE volcano that erupted in the late 1800s wiping out the sun with ash?
This is where my head is inside the gloom of this month. Thinking about Krakatoa. But also mushrooms!
We decided yesterday that there wasn’t much we could do about the ever-present gray, but we could change how we experienced it. We got in our hiking boots and rain gear and brought along binoculars and cameras and walked about the forest of the farm looking for fungus. We saw so many cool little lifeforms (and probably got poison ivy) but walking along the slope of the mountain finding treasures, newts, IDing birds, pointing out gill patterns and slugs - all of it made the rainy day into a small adventure. And as our weather patterns change, we may need to change what we consider a “normal” summer forever. At least the little bit of forever get get to have.
The animals seem okay with the mud and rain. The pigs are grateful for their dry porch looking from the bar out into the back woods of the farm. Sometimes they sleep all in a row watching the fireflies at dusk. The horses have had their paddock expanded into the woods as well, adding more forage and shade and rain cover if they prefer it to the pole barn. The sheep are basically the same or happier than they would be with the sun. After all, this is fine Scottish weather and sheep seem to care about misty gray about as much as the moss on the rocks. The goat also seems fine as long as he can keep eating apple trees. They graze during the dry moments and sit out the rain in their tight shed.
Things here are quiet. The June mortgage got paid and I am trying to get the July one paid before the month ends. Been working on logos and pet portraits as well as looking for remote work that is more regular I can do from the farm. Two weeks of applying and just rejections, for all sorts of online copywriting and content farm work. It’s discouraging being the author of half a dozen books with a college degree, and not able to land a gig yet, but that’s every single qualified writer out there looking for work’s frustration. We are all in the process of trying.
So I feel about the rain the same way I feel about looking for work - keep moving forward. Eventually the sun has to come out.