It is being reported that the fire out near the bison ranch is about 35% contained. However, thundeheads are lurking, and the winds – even here in the city – have increased significantly.
When I talked to Dot yesterday, she said that the wind was beginning to move the fire away from them. With help of several good friends, she had spent the day pumping water out of the pond (it sits opposite the house) and wetting the living daylights out of the lawn areas all around the house: “I’m going to have the greenest lawn in Stillwater County.” Which is saying something because the last time I was out there, we sat on the patio and lamented the fact that the lawn was fading fast under relentless heat, regardless of how much water they put on it.
They dug, lined, and filled the pond a few years ago in anticipation of just such a summer as this. Up until this summer, it’s greatest asset was to be a home for a few pairs of ducks, and now for 3 turtles. On a sunny day, you’ll see them arrayed on what is left of the bale of barley straw (its decomposition promotes growth of beneficial bacteria – a new one gets dropped in every couple of summers), necks and limbs outstretched so as to soak up as warmth much as possible. I can’t explain why I find them such a pleasing sight; I just do, and I always look to see if they’re out. As I was leaving one afternoon, one of them was. I skidded to a stop in the middle of the driveway, grabbed my camera and jumped out. I zoomed in for a close-up, and quite literally at the same instant that I began to press the button, a bird coasted in and landed on top of the turtle’s shell! The turtle went plop! into the pond, and I was left with nothing but my mouth hanging open, wondering what on earth the odds of that little sequence of circumstances might be. I digress.
As their ilk is, Dot and Rick are excellent stewards of their land. They manage their forest assiduously. They maintain cleared areas all around the house. There’s the pond. And still, Dot said that if the winds change, everything else could change in an instant. What are the odds? Hard to say. We show up every day, we bring ourselves to bear on the tasks at hand. Still, life on any scale, be it small or large, comes with risks, with factors, with events that are out of our control. Still, we continue to show up, to do our best. Better to go on than to dwell on what has or could go wrong. Because life goes on. And in the end, it is still so impossibly sweet.