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Report From PIA – January 19

I started out the morning with one of those irritable exchanges that married people sometimes have. My husband was annoyed about the grapes being not being good, and said something cross since I was the one who purchased them. This made me prickly, and I responded with bad-temper. “You can be in charge of buying the grapes from now on,” I said.

All this before coffee.

Throughout the day I found myself feeling pissed off about our exchange. I didn’t grow the damn grapes, after all, and I did my best to get tasty ones.

The weather was dark, cold and raining, which didn’t help my mood. I pulled into the driveway after running errands and looked at the water that was trickling into the rain garden.

A rain garden is an area that is designed to catch runoff. Be it precipitation that flows from a roof, street, or driveway, a rain garden traps and holds this water, allowing it to trickle into the ground near where that rain has fallen.

Rain gardens prevent pollutants from running from streets and driveways into nearby bodies of water. Storm drains ultimately empty into lakes, streams and oceans, and the oils and other petrochemicals that have been deposited on roadways flow with the runoff.

I have a rain garden because at Poison Ivy Acres we have a long driveway, and the water from that drive and the road above flows downhill toward the lake. I created a basin at the end of the drive so that the water will collect and filter contaminants into the soil before they might go into the larger body of water.

Watching today’s rain flow into this depression, I wondered if there was a similar place where we might send anger, frustration and misplaced irritation. Perhaps there’s a way to pour my annoyance with my husband, and his with me, into an emotional rain garden, where all toxins would be removed as it all percolates down.

As I contemplated this, I felt my aggravation lift. I went into the house planning how I would cook goat cheese popovers for our dinner. I adore my husband, no sour grapes in that!

We all need a way, I decided, to filter annoyance so that it is made nontoxic and unimportant.

Rain gardens need to be planted with selections that will tolerate standing water on their roots.

Rain gardens need to be planted with selections that will tolerate standing water on their roots. Here, red twig dogwood, winterberry holly, Japanese anemones, Juncus and Chrysogonum thrive.


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