Life in the arid high desert brings a new appreciation for all forms of moisture, whether it comes from the sky or in a tube of high quality cream. Often we are treated to a light show beyond anything created in a fireworks factory, and water pours from the clouds so fast and hard it’s gone downstream before our ground can absorb more than a few drops. Those “dry” gulches form from the excess of water racing downhill, eliminating everything in the path.
Once in a while we get “soft” rains–drops striking gently and absorbing into the ground, pattering down for an hour or more. These rains mean we can pull the monster weeds out of the ground instead of digging them, and we don’t have to water the trees or gardens for a few days. They also mean the cisterns will be full again, ready to use in the next dry period, which will be right around the corner.
There’s a parallel between the high intensity short duration storms and getting Mr Stoner better. His recovery has been a long slow process and at times we had to wonder if the healing was “soaking in” or just running out of him along with unmentionable in polite society effluents. Every time we thought he was ready for solid foods he would fail the swallow test. Every new exercise comes with new aches and pains and it all just takes so darned long!
But he is eating solid foods and is now exposed to a hospital diet. Hmmm, not sure if he’ll see that as an improvement. Occupational therapy has him working his hands to use a comb and washcloth on his own–we never think of how many tiny muscles are needed just to pull a comb through our hair–he’s acing the flash cards, and far more observant of what’s going on around him. Since there are still moments of confusion and he was after all a teacher for over thirty years, sometimes we’re not sure if the staff appreciates being directed by their patient. Fortunately their sense of humor prevails, they nod, smile, and offer to dial his wife for him so she can hear the latest theory on why he’s in the hospital.
But all this slow progress has led to big advances. He’ll be moving to a rehab soon, and yesterday he picked up a pencil and drew. Not sure we’re going to share those particular sketches, but it’s another baby step on that road to home.
As an aside, “There Will Come Soft Rains” is from a poem by Sara Teasdale, which Ray Bradbury used in his short story of the same name. Both are post apocalyptic in nature, one about the world after mankind is gone, and one about the world after mankind has obliterated itself. Both well worth the short time it would take to read them, though absorbing both poem and story could take much longer. Kind of like those long rains that do so much good.