Despite the bright sun that was shining half an hour ago, there’s a cloud bursting now, right outside my window. This cloudburst follows another one last night that knocked out our electricity and blew down three birch trees and a maple.
Cloudbursts happen. Rain comes. But these storms are faster and fiercer than anything we are accustomed to here, in the Eastern Townships of Quebec. Our rain is normally gentle. (Or persistent. Or non-existent. Or as variable as rain is in most locales.) But rarely do the winds blow and the clouds burst the way they have this summer.
Cloudbursts can cause damage, and not only to trees. The Aqueduct was designed to handle a normal flow of water, with a margin for more. But it can’t handle the amount of water that comes in these sudden storms.
The result? A hole in the carpet of sedum that tops the gabion wall.
Yes, into every garden a little rain must fall. It’s necessary for the farmers, pleasant for the ducks and far from discouraging to the thistles in the Upper Field.
Still, rainbows come after the rain. (Can you tell I’m an optimist?)
Some storms bring benefits that are quite unexpected. Last fall, a wind storm blew the top off an old maple tree. Luckily the branches missed our house and the garage; even the Chinese pot in the little flower bed escaped unharmed. Instead of removing the trunk, I asked for ideas on what to do with it in a post titled Going and Coming.
You came up with some doozies — one of my favourite ideas was from Charlotte, a writer who suggested sharpening the end of the trunk like a pencil. Others suggested leaving it for insects and birds. But the most inspirational idea came from Liz who suggested cutting a wedge from the trunk to show the growth rings and following that with a ceremonial tree planting. Her suggestion settled it. I decided that a tree as old as the maple could not be removed. Rather it should be honoured, even venerated.
And whenever I’m there, I’m content. Regardless of the weather.