I silently cursed the heat. Hated the drought that intimately violated the earth all around. Railed against the heavy, torrid air that cooked the lungs. Despised that it had sickened me during a hard afternoon run, concerned too many people, and then pushed me into medical intervention and through a gauntlet of scoldings and admonishments like an errant child.
Now that we were pulling into the driveway after getting the treatment, what simmered in me was just as oppressive and suffocating as what scorched the land. I, known for looking for the good, found none in this stifling day.
I moved to the front yard to turn on the sprinkler. Grass beyond the reach of the water hose was as brittle as a used light bulb. The only thing growing in the pastures beyond the yard were malignant patches of brown where lush grass used to flourish.
I sucked in a breath to sigh as I knelt to turn the faucet handle, and a surprisingly soft aroma floated gently upwards. The grass and plants lifted a bouquet of thanks at the descent of the sun, a delicate medley of offerings.
Hundreds of butterflies, aroused at the first droplets of water, swirled and cavorted as King David must have with absolute abandon, orbiting first me and then dancing out into a wider circle. Their raw joy overflowed into an exquisite explosion through the air.
A trail on the sidewalk of perfectly placed, muddy, teen aged footprints from the puddle under the faucet to the front door revived the memories of walking barefoot in the wet earth. I slipped off my shoes and squished my toes in, too, leaving my muddy footprints beside those of my teenager.
By the time my husband came back out with two frosted glasses of iced water, I had pulled the lawn chairs over under the sprawling oak tree and settled in, dirty feet stretched out in front.
Sometimes when you can't find the good, the good finds you.