The heat wave has finally hit my area, yesterday it was over 100 degrees. Needless to say, my garden is suffering from the extreme dry weather. I can see their leaves and stems wilting and shribbling in the heat, the ground looks like a cement sidewalk, bleached from the rays of the sun, hard and ungiving. Even the weeds are struggling.
Some relief comes when night falls. I'm not the only one outside at this late hour as I see my cats finally coming to life after the long day of sleeping under the bed. The pond is alive with the song of frogs and crickets rejoicing in the comfort of the night air, I think they are telling me its time to water the garden.
I have a really great oscilating sprinkler thats about 2 years old. Its a bit rusty from use, but a little bit of WD40 and its like new. I place the sprinkler on top of a metal pole right in the middle of the garden, this lets the water cover more area and keeps the mud to a minimum. Everything is running smoothly, I'm sitting on the swing watching the water shower down on the dry plants and soil. All of a sudden the sprinkler freezes up, stops moving from left to right. So now I have to put my cool drink down, get up walk into the garden and adjust the contraption. I pinch the hose to stop the flow of water, move the lever, make sure the nozzel is pointed straight out in front of me and I release the water. Full force water hits me square in the face, You Gots To Be Kidding! I saw the opening facing the other direction, how did it swirl around to hit me in the face!
I stop the water and adjust again, release the water and this time I see the sprinkler doing a Linda Blair, a complete 360 like it was possessed and determined to find me! Before I could get out of the way I am totally drenched. This happened one more time before I put an end to the hosing! I have another hand held sprinkler that has 5 different settings so I decided to use that one instead. Now I have to walk around the mud to water the garden. Just as I get started I feel a waterfall running down my arm, Oh Come On!, this sprinkler head is also giving me a hard time. No matter how tight I turn it, water is still finding its way down my arm, the front of my shirt and pant leg...I dont give up, I am determined to water every square inch of my thirsty garden.
By the time I was done my hair was in wet dredlocks, my shirt soaked to the skin and pants felt like they weighed a ton. I looked around and in the quiet night the garden in front of me seemed to be rejoicing from the cool refreshing drink of the sprinklers. The leaves were greener, everyone looked so healthy under the light of the waning yet still bright moon, it looked like they were shimmering back and forth, the water bath must have woken them up to the night. Did I hear laughter? I could have sworn I heard laughter. I was the only one out that night, and my plants were the only audience to the comic behavior of me and the sprinklers. I put things away and before going into the house I realized that in all my wetness, this was the most comfortable I'd been all day, I was truely refreshed.
Once back in dry clothes, I pondered the haunted sprinkler episode. I've been a gardener for many years, each year the plants that are grown find their way into my life one way or another. Either through medicinal, food, magic, or gifts, there is a bond between us that I have establised. But tonight it seemed that the plants were taking me into their world. They had me share their exhilerating experience of the refreshing shower after a long hot day in the sun. I smiled and understood and in the back of my mind I thought I heard singing and laughing, it sounded like, "If we're getting wet, so are you!"