The rain on the porch roof makes a new sound. We’ve had gutters installed and now instead of a curtain of drops dripping off the edge of the porch there’s a metallic ping and rush of water flowing down the drain in the corner. The view out to the yard is clear, coreopsis still blooming, silver-sheened balls of globe thistle getting ready to pop out their tiny purple flowers, uneven and unruly grass, rudbeckia blazing yellow in clumps from the garden to the line of yew bushes, the burn pile for this fall getting lost in the tall weeds and wildflowers of the field. Summer.
Which this week means a house filling up with children and grandchildren and friends. Sam arrived after we’d all gone to bed last night and we woke up to an assortment of Tennessee hats arranged on a counter in the kitchen. There are dog food bowls and leashes and a crate lined with blankets and a chair full of dog toys. Extra shoes and wallets and car keys, laptops on every table. A stuffed refrigerator that will empty and get stuffed again and empty and get stuffed again and empty and get stuffed and empty.
But I don’t want to go there yet, to the empty. Right now we’re at the beginning of a week of family gathering and everything is full and messy and rich. Empty is later.