black-eyed susans

Yellow dominates the garden. Blooms untouched by heat and drought, as if making up for the sun’s decline — and final fury — with expansiveness and sociability. For all the vividness of the garden, there’s also a sweet somberness in the air. The beginning of the end is now.

Nights are hot. Dreamless. I’m wishing it would rain. In so many parts of the world, this is the hunger season, when drought brings horrifying famine. Those two percent of us who consume eighty-five percent of the world’s wealth take for granted the availability of food in any season. And here I am, wasting water, feeling a terrible guilt that I’ll forget by the next rainfall.


Agni the Fire God’s brother, Vivasat, God of the Rising Sun (who may also be called Surya — I’m a bit confused on this point), rides through the sky on a chariot drawn by seven ruddy horses. He is called upon for success in the garden and the fields. Sun/Viva/Life. Whenever Vivasat is unhappy, he creates the oppressive heat that causes the plants to wither and the rivers to dry.


Vritra is the Serpent of Drought. Indra, God of Rain and Thunder, is his archenemy and defeats him in every battle. The battles, described in the Mahabarata, can be long, victory illusive for months and months.

Vritra fights Indra

Vritra fights Indra

Eventually, Indra wins. The monsoons come and there is celebration, hope, and a good night’s sleep once again.

monsoon festivals in India celebrating Hareli to pray for a good harvest

Last night, in the skies above my garden far from India, Indra won his battle, and it began to rain — an hour after I’d put the sprinklers on full blast. It rained throughout the night and is raining still this beautiful morning.