Puddles don’t form when I water the rose bushes. The stream runs straight down. I take a walk, stepping over cracks, some of them as wide as my foot. It’s a drought on the land. I feel dry in my soul, too—dry from changes in the routine, dry from not enough sleep, dry from too many minutes spent watching the news. I’m gonna crack up like the ground if I keep this up.
I had planned to go three miles, but it’s 95 degrees and I’m feeling light-headed. I need water. I need to lie down.
Cumulus clouds sit scattered in a blue sky, too far apart to even holler the word “howdy,” if clouds could talk. Some look grey in the middle — light grey, not the kind of grey that rains. I stare at them, wishing they could get together and make something good.
In a few days, I’ll travel to a gathering in Tennessee. It’s called Hutchmoot, and it’s my favorite thing in all the world. I won’t need to holler to my friends there. I’ll be close enough to hug them. And I’ll hug them with tears in my eyes because these friends are such good friends that when I’m far from them, I’m tempted to think they’re too good to be true.
I look down at my iPhone and tap The Weather Channel app. In five days, it says, there’s a 40 percent chance of rain. That’s the same day my friends will go from being scattered to being gathered in Franklin. Painters and potters, pipe makers and writers, musicians and makers of leather and film, dreamers who draw and sing, and strum their guitars by the fire — we’re going to make something good when we get together. The rain is gonna fall, I’m certain of it.
April Pickle lives under a green roof with her husband, four children, and two dogs. She holds a degree in journalism from the University of Texas at Austin and teaches journalism and literature at a university-model high school. One cold day, when April was in the fourth grade, she closed the car door on her winter coat and, unbeknownst to her or her father, prevented the door from latching all the way. Half a mile down the road, her daddy turned a corner, the door flew open, and she fell out. Thanks to the thickness of the coat, she was unharmed.