Originally posted August 13, 2020
I have this. I have every last bit of it, maintenance and worry free. Except I do the maintenance, some of it, because I want to. It's not much, but it's enough.
It had not rained. It was meant to rain, but the darker clouds moved on when the first few drops failed to hit the ground. The suburban alley sundial was open for business.
I wasn't photographing the shaft of light, or the hedged window through which it asserts itself most days. I was photographing the source of the droplets; the oscillating sprinkler. This is a thing I used on the front lawn (and my neighbor's lawn and the driveway and at least four feet into the street because I hadn't figured out how NOT to) twice a day until the newly seeded and mulched grass closed over the dirt gaps as if they owned the place. This took a little over a month and it's been hot as hell out there all summer.
This is a thing I do mostly very early in the morning, early being 6ish, and more or less twelve hours later although it won't need that much in a bit. Twenty minutes, no more, no less except for when I forget in the evening and it gets close to an hour. Lawn happy, water bill probably outrageous and I don't ever see the water bill. I see my internet and cell phone bills exiting my bank account and I see rent and auto insurance fly away as well but I am hyper-focused on our use of energy because I am not paying those other bills. I am also not paying for the seeding and mulching. Salvatorio comes once a week to cut the grass, beat back the hedges, and probably give those odd trees a shaving once or twice a year. Salvatorio and I discussed the seeding. He was frantic about the hose which was no longer in the place where a tangled green hose ought to be. He explained exactly what would happen, or not happen, if that seed didn't receive fluid in about an hour. I went to Home Depot, problem solved. I caught him driving by a little later in the day; landscape truck and trailer coming to a near stop and then pulling away, apparently satisfied.
Because the temperature in Downstate New York has consistently been in the high eighties to mid nineties, I have taken to soaking the rest of the place in the evening. This act reminds me that I am alive and I do have some purpose for breathing. I take what I can get and these very simple things... these very, very simple things.
I hope that you can see the water falling in the front yard. I hope you can see it through the window box made of light, clouds, blue and the small bit of red umbrella, which is a thing that makes me very happy.
I was eating my dinner when I took the photograph. I had a small plate of sushi that Elizabeth fetched home, hoping I'd eat. I did.
She left me in the backyard under the red umbrella (and the light), ran back to the house on rabbit feet (quick! like a bunny!) and slid into her seat in front of her 6 PM, three or four night a week summer class. The History of Jazz, I believe, and also it may include the History of the Blues given what I've heard coming from her computer some evenings.
This is happening. Right now... Trevor Hall