We’re between thunderstorms on the Row. It’s The Deluge here in southeast South Dakota. The two main roads I take into Little Town have been intermittently closed, each precariously balanced between growing lakes – great fields of corn or soybeans flooded by the escaped James and Vermillion rivers. Trees, flowers, pasture, lawn, weeds…the Row’s greenery is lush, tropical, growing at an alarming rainforest rate.
The constant wetness has also resulted in record-breaking clouds of mosquitos, which my friend K swears are the size of helicopters. The flooded pond out by the meditation tower, the dense plum thickets, and the tall wet grass of the south 40 make ideal ‘skeeto nurseries. We try to live as organically as possible (we take out small loans every time we buy organic dog & cat food for the kids), but we can’t go outside right now without showering in DEET first. Ray wears a mosquito-net hat just to get to his car in the morning. When I envisioned Ray and I in our rural retreat – sipping juleps under the market umbrella, prayer flags billowing in the soft summer breeze, peacocks in all their puffery atop the rail fence – I didn’t quite see the full-body mosquito armor. I’m almost desperate enough to spray the yard. Almost.
I made a mozzarella-basil salad for the Sisters of Perpetual Disorder dinner last night – thirteen women, an amazing buffet of potluck dishes, a little singing, and lots of wine & coffee. What a gift, to have this community of strong, intelligent, hilarious women. We celebrated our friend C’s presence a year or so after her double-lung transplant (still, after all she’s been through, the most positive, life-affirming person I know). We celebrated our friend M’s engagement (and her Liz Taylor rock) to a kindhearted man who adores her. We celebrated the lovely blending of women’s voices, when friends G & L and I sang an old Jesse Winchester song that turned into a singalong. We celebrated 30-year friendships and younger women coming “into the fold” with each semi-monthly dinner. Why, the sheer continuity of it all makes me break out in an ear-splitting, quavering version of “The Circle of Life” from the Lion King! (Thank heaven we don’t have neighbors.)
I started a new blog last week – meditations on meditation. It’s a way for me to hold onto the feeling of “rightness” I had at Shambhala, and to keep myself going back to the cushion for daily practice. It’s a pretty boring blog unless you’re interested in meditation, but you’re welcome to check it out at www.pomheart.blogspot.com.
Today, the heat and unbearable humidity of the past couple of days broke, so I checked on my batch of Merlot, finished a video script for Ad Agency, pulled a few weeds, and got most of the Row mowed. Mowing out on the trails, I found a fresh varmint hole, maybe 10" across, and I figure that's why we haven't seen more peachicks. So I did what any proud plainswoman with an ounce of ingenuity (and no gun or poison) would do; I dumped half a jar of pickled jalapenos down the hole. Sure, you're laughing now...but just you wait till Sham-wow guy's doing my infomercials and I'm chillin' in the lap of luxury. Won't be so funny then, will it...