The train went through the night without our noticing it had. These are the quiet night sounds we become accustomed to. Somewhere around 3 AM, the hard clack of thunder rattles me from sleep, the windows bending in the light. I hear the generator kick in, the low growl of hard energy. I think of Lynn, how he is prepared for this kind of thing should the hogs in back be in danger of suffering as fans and cooling systems stop. The clock in the kitchen will be 30 seconds late now. This is how quickly his back-up plan commences.
Last night I dreamt I went up to the garden in bare feet and found two large horseshoe prints in the dirt, deep and heavy, and I imagined the size of the horse that would have stood there at the edge of the garden contemplating the edible green world I'd made. And when I looked up, I realized he'd eaten the garden down to the dirt. No leaf, no root, no shoot, no fruit. Dirt. The grass around the garden remained untouched. I dropped to my knees and the whole year ahead passed through me without heart red tomato beating, reminding me of this summer world. In the dream, it was too much. I think I gave up.
We've heard it so many times, the cliche has dulled the sharp edges of how hard it can sometimes be to believe: God never gives you more than you can handle. Everything has passed in front of the Inspector for approval.
And it brings me to my knees, sometimes 5 or 6 times a day. I go to my bedroom and kneel, and when I get up, the lines in the rug are imprinted there on my legs.
Why do I think going to God is my back-up plan?
Stubborn, prideful woman.
In Him, the 30 seconds on the kitchen clock are an eternity to consider.
When I told my mom about the dream, I said, "I didn't know what I would do with the garden gone. What would I do?"
"You'd just do something else."
I didn't tell her that I don't want to do something else. It fought inside me, the angry "No" of "this isn't what I wanted."
And the prayer I make with my cheek resting on the edge of the bed: If I don't have the garden to water, then give it to me and let it be the Living Water. If I am barren, so is the ground, and tonight I am thirsty.