A Drought That Did Not Kill

There is a bit of a drought going on in my corner of the world, both in my thoughts and in my garden.

A familiar quote that kept  coming up this week is…

I will never look into the eyes of a person God does not love.[1]

…I like that. Sometimes I recommend this quote to others, those caught in a cycle of self deprecation, to keep it in mind when they look in the mirror.

As for the garden…even in a drought, it blooms:

Lantana camara ‘Anne Marie’

Platycodon grandiflorus ‘Astra Blue’

Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Annabelle’

Anethum graveolens, Dill!

Hydrangea ‘Endless Summer’ (I think…)

Anemone x hybrida ‘Serenade’

And this guy

Let us pray for rain to refresh our wearied soil.

[1] Don’t know the origin of this quote, but it sounds like a paraphrase of any number of the Church doctors.

Images Margaret Rose Realy, Obl. OSB, all rights reserved.

A Softer Rain

The ground had grown hard from the drought. There had been a few passing rains with less than ¼” falling, but nothing had penetrated the soil enough to reach the roots of withering plants. The lawn was the color of yellow ocher.

The spiritual drought I’d been experiencing had also been prolonged, like the rainfall that was minimal; there were moments of the Holy passing by, but nothing to saturate my roots.

Though my prayers felt hollow, I was encouraged to continue each time I read the quote from St. Teresa of Avila that is taped to the mirror—“Take no notice of the temptation to give up prayer.”

Spiritual droughts are nothing new to most of us; we all experience them now and again. It’s the prolonged ones that test the endurance of our faith—the soundness of our roots, to persist and grow with and beyond the struggle.

I looked at the small ornamental crab in the front yard. For the most part it was fairing well enough. A few of the smaller interior branches showed signs of dying-off with leaves yellowed and fallen. I too know of that small dying to self.

The weather station predicted a thunderstorm for later in the day. It came, but with such force that small limbs of trees and shrubs were broken, and flowers were laid flat with many stripped of petals. It was the complete opposite of a drought; a storm with such force that most of the rain ran in rivulets down the street, it had barely penetrated an inch into the hardened soil.

I recognized a similar thirst in my parched soul; waiting to be refreshed and instead encountering a different storm. I was swinging between extremes—the hardness of depression and the reality of being blessed.

I sought the equilibrium of a steady rain. An all day rain that would reach my roots, cleans my dusty leaves, and swell the shriveling fruit.

Image: Drought, Pixabay.com, CCO, Creative Commons