Waiting in Stillness for the Storm

Stormy Sky One

I waited for the storm throughout last night, my sleep smothered by the humidity that had invaded the house.  Nothing came. Not the storm. Nor the sleep.

I  gave up trying for sleep at six this morning, dressed and went outside into the stillness.  No wind from any direction. It was like the storm was waiting, holding back or being held back. A leaf on the giant tree in our backyard moved from the flap of a birds wing.  Even their song was muted. Eerie. My skin crawled. On this day, my world is too still.  Too quiet. I hold my breath too.  The suspense builds. The tension straining.

Stormy Sky Two
The horses, Charlie, Sonia and Maggie are locked up in the barn, munching on one of the last bales of hay from last summer’s crop. Chewing helps keep them calm. They don’t like storms any more than me. I left the lights on in the barn to diminish the shock of lightning and thunder and wind if it comes. When it comes.

Weather radar puts us in a red zone. Severe thunderstorms, high winds, hail, maybe even tornados.  The hay in the field has been cut. It lays in flat rows to dry. Then it will be raked into a continuous braided row that spirals inward to the middle of the field. The rake lifts the hay off the ground and flips it to dry the underside, preparing it to be baled.

The baler picks up the hay, smashes it into flakes and ties it into square bales. If the wind blows hard, the braid will be broken, scattering the hay haphazardly in the field, making it difficult for the baler to scoop it up.

If it rains before the hay can be baled, the water will leach out the nutrients, turning the hay from luscious green to lifeless grey.  The heavier the rain, the more life is drained away.

We grow organic hay for our horses, a lovely mix of grass with a bit of alfalfa.  If the hay is not dried when it is baled, it will mold–creating a toxic feed for any horse. Only cows will be able to eat it without getting sick, but we don’t have any cows.

The words “Make hay while the sun shines” run through my brain.  This is the first cutting, always the biggest of any season. The drought-diminished harvest of last year is all but gone. We need this hay.

Stormy Sky ThreeBut will the rain come too soon and ruin the hay for my horses?  Will it rain heavy? Or will it just sprinkle and skip over us as it has so many times before when big storms have been predicted?

There’s no way of knowing.  There’s just the waiting.  And the praying.  A tension that makes my skin crawl and boggles my mind, making the time unusable for anything but worry.

And so I wait in the stillness for the storm.  And pray it doesn’t come.  Not today.  Not tomorrow.  Not until the hay is baled and put under cover and all the animals are safe inside. Then, let the rain come. But not today.

10 PM LIGHTNING STORM

www.LeafRiverWriter.com

2012 First Winter Storm

Note to Reader:  As I was just about to post this, we lost power.  For about a day and a half.  We couldn’t get the generator working, because the starter had an electrical short.  So it was a very cold night.  Anyway, shortly after that was Christmas and then New Year’s Eve and then I had my eye surgeries for cataracts–the first on January 2nd, the second three weeks later.  I have a post about that coming, but I thought I’d put this up first, even though it is already February 1st.  2013.  Who would have thought 2012 would pass so quickly.  Anyway, here’s the post from December 20th of last year.

It’s Thursday evening on the 20th of December.  The wind is blowing like a banshee out there.  Max my hundred pound German Shepherd is trying to climb into my lap, but settles with curling around my feet like a cat.  When the doorbell rings he turns into Cujo, my fierce protecter with bared teeth leaping at the door, but he’s afraid of the wind.

Tomorrow is the end of the Mayan Calendar.  I don’t believe it will be the end of the world, although the increase of assault weapons with the threat of a ban and the NRA made lead to the end of us all.  The thought of the tragedy in New Town makes me want to curl up in a ball in someone’s lap.

Greg always cheers me up.  We have a tree up but decided not to bother with outside lights this year.  We have so few visitors; I put them up to bring me cheer when the weather is cold and dark.  But this year, I decided the tree would have to do.

I completed 50,000 words in November for NaNoWriMo, my Young Adult Novel LITTLE GLASS HORSE more than half way finished.  With that much intense writing, there’s lots to catch up with.  It was my first effort at NaNo and I had a great supportive group who all completed their goal.  Yeah!!!

Greg really cheered me up at Christmas by helping me make Christmas cookies for family and friends.  He did all the decorations!  I always knew he was an artist!  I ate a few too many of the leftover cookies, but I’m still glad we made them because we got great reviews from all of you.  It’s nice to be appreciated.  It really is the little things in life that get you through.