Making Rain.

I stand in the backyard of my in-laws’ house, and Gabby prances through the spray of the hose as I water little seedlings – bell peppers, wild enthusiastic dill, potted spinach, quiet peonies that have lost their blooms in the heat of June.

The rest of the yard is scorched from a month of no rain, dry and course as straw. But we water this corner faithfully, willing our little harvest to grow and thrive.

The neighbor lady stands in her backyard and scoops dog poop from the lawn and asks about my dad, about my sister-in-law, tells me stories about her daughter and son-in-law and plans for the grandbaby’s furniture and then asks, in her abrupt way, “how is the job going?”

It’s going.

I hold my last shreds of enthusiasm close, explain my new freelance routine.

That’s great,” she says, “as long as the projects keep coming.”

And there it is, sitting between us like the chain-link fence, the weight of it hanging overhead like the clouds that have forgotten how to rain. Those clouds brood darkly as though they have the rain and just aren’t giving it, and it is maddening.

Yes, as long as.

She tosses the poop bag in the dumpster and with a wave of her hand she says she’ll see me later and calls the dogs into the house.

As long as.

And I look at the sky and I want to give up. I want to give up on so many things every day.

Bills. My email inbox. The bone dry ground that suffocates the green beans and zucchini.

And yes, even writing.

There are days when I hate it a little, when no matter how much I water and will it to thrive, my world of words feels barren, dry, one lit match away from going up in flames.

But I stand in my little corner of the yard, waving my arm and the hose at our small plot of garden, making my own rain.

  • Sarah

    It’s so hard to answer the question “What do you do?” with “Oh, I’m a freelance writer.” Those shreds of enthusiasm are slippery, for some reason, even though being a freelance writer is badass. Keep making it rain. You’re the only one who can.

    • Bethany Suckrow

      Yes, badass, and I do love freelancing when it goes right… but this week has been tough, that’s for sure. Thank you so much for your encouragement, Sarah!

  • Lore Ferguson

    Girl. Your words. Beautiful. 

    • Bethany Suckrow

      Thanks, friend. <3

  • Christopher Johnson

    Sometimes even a small comment can burst one’s confidence. But you need to persevere to water your soul even if you have to dig deep to find the water. Wishing you the best of skill in sticking to your plan and becoming successful. 

    • Bethany Suckrow

      Thanks for your encouragement, Christopher, and for being such a faithful reader and commenter! I always appreciate your perspective. :)

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  • Jessica Droscha

    It is funny, but mostly depressing, how the weather (and life) can leave you hanging.  Last year, the sky poured rain down on our fields in such mass quantity that prevented us from being able to harvest our corn in a timely manner. Then, in a rare Michigan winter, the weather never dropped below zero.  It was the middle of February before the combine saw the field and it had to be pulled out several times after getting stuck.  While the deer grew fat on our corn and our profit dropped daily, we were helpless to do anything about it.  Not a very good first year!  It is almost ironic that this year has left us begging for rain. 
    Bethany, just know that I feel your pain, and remember that the people who give up at the first signs of a drought will never know the sweet taste of a bountiful harvest! Keep chasing your dream and know that you have family behind you!

    • Bethany Suckrow

      This comment seriously made my day, Jessie!!!!! Love you so much and thanks for your thoughts and encouragement. Xoxo. <3

  • Brynna Lynea

    From one to another… I GET this. But for every time I have to be talked off a ledge, there are seasons of fantastic busyness… thanks for making even a simple lament so gorgeous. And if you’d like to commiserate, you know where to find me. :)

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  • mrs.nickol

    Bethany- I love the way you write. I so enjoy reading your blog. Sorry I don’t tell you that often enough. I think a little bit of that has to do with what you wrote about in one of your earlier posts about feeling like you have the authority to chime in. I may not be an expert on blogging or the creative non-fiction style of your stories, but I love what you share :)