Thursday, June 9, 2011

I watered the garden under the stars last night.

The water begrudgingly plods out until my thumb spreads it into a shimmering fan. During the day I must wait a bit until the scorching water gives way to cooler streams drawn up from the ground. Last night the water was immediately cold. A half-dozen or so seconds passed, and then the temperature jumped considerably.

How odd, this heat trapped below my feet. I thought that if I lay a few feet beneath the earth I would have an intolerably warm--and here the word "coffin" arose in my mind. Nothing was further from my thinking than my own mortality when I started that thought. The image of sleeping underground evoked death of its own accord, and I hold neither my conscious mind nor any subconscious rivers swimming below the surface responsible. I put such thoughts to rest.

I do not do a lot of stargazing. I recall watching a momentous meteor shower from a field 9,000-feet high in the Colorado Rockies a few autumns ago, but I do not make a habit of looking to the stars. Dreams of space hold out no hope for we creatures of the earth. Even so the stars were astonishing, sparkling almost too much, so that I thought of poor Truman's artificial sky. I am grateful on a number of levels for Tucson's light pollution laws.

After I had soaked the garden I stayed outside a few minutes, gazing upwards and listening to Elvis Perkins and Kid Cudi. Yes, headphones plugged my ears as my thumb plugged the hose. I realize this may destroy the serene agrarian beauty of the moment in your minds. In theory it does so for me too. Alas, I am a glutton, and I enjoyed it all.