Saturday, February 5, 2011


Wither:  verb
  1. To make or become no longer fresh or shapely because of loss of moisture: dry up, mummify, sear, shrivel, wizen. See dry.
  2. To waste away from longing or grief: languish, pine (away). See health.
  3. To render helpless, as by emotion: benumb, numb, paralyze, petrify, stun, stupefy. See affect.  

The following was originally written in the month of November of 2007.  It is consistent true in the dry, hot, semi-arid of Northeastern Brazil where we live.  The big city nearest to us states on their website that they get only 16 inches of rain per year!

Every time we come home from a retreat, the grass in the front yard is dry and withered. It doesn’t rain in Sobradinho. When we’re at home, I water the grass with the run-off from my washing machine and what doesn’t get enough from that, I top up in the evening with a little sprinkler we have. I enjoy raking the leaves and keeping the yard free from trash. I water some parts with a hose where it just doesn’t do to use the sprinkler and try to keep it looking mostly green.

I’ve been reading about gardens in the Bible….

It seems my life is a lot like our front yard. After retreats my feet are all dried up from walking in the sand. My skin is dry all over. I often get dehydrated while out on the island. It’s hot and we run from here to there taking care of everything with our current lack of help that there just isn’t time to drink as much water as we should. The boys are tired and cranky. It takes days to get back to normal and just to get back into the schedule of being at home.

Everything gets dried up!  When we come back from retreats we return to a dried up congregation. We have to start the watering process all over again. Lately we’ve been gone quite a bit. There is no automatic sprinkling system for churches. We have to be there to do the job. We have no substitutes….

I’m trying to plan ahead and be better prepared for the "droughts." I’m trying to think ahead about what we will eat when we get home. We often arrive just in the nick of time to run to church for the evening worship service and there is no time to fix complicated meals and no stores open from which to buy anything. But some garden work can’t be done too far in advance. Mostly I can only try to control what I can, plan ahead, and hope for the best. I’m trying to make the garden of my home a green, growing place. A happy place in which to be. A place of rest and comfort. A place where growing can take place and should take place.

Greyson, 2007, Yard looks a little green!

Today it rained! For the first time since April or May, maybe even before that. Thank you, God for the rain. And thanks for the occasional shower in my life to keep me watered just enough to make it through until the real rains.

Above is an old post from the crypt written in 2007.  I'm so thankful for little spiritual "rain" in my life this week:
  • visit from friends for the weekend
  • unexpected gift from my dear husband
  • an opportunity for which I've been praying for some time
  • my wonderful boys and a special learning time for one
  • strawberries to add to my crock pot yogurt this week

Waiting for Rain: The Politics and Poetry of Drought in Northeast Brazil

1 comment:

  1. Enjoyed reading about drought. Yes, it is a fact of life here and we do need to make the best of it as best we can with the help of God, by His Grace and Mercy. Looking forward to our times of refreshing "rains"!


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