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The monsoon has arrived in Vermont, and it's in no hurry to leave us. The college (which lies between this site and the Internet) has lost power twice in a little more than a week - once from downed power lines, once from a blown transformer, both times the fault of powerful windstorms. The tomatoes in the garden have swollen to the size of basketballs, but their color is an unhealthy frog-belly green. I passed a man trying to mow his lawn today - he had a low-lying plot of land, and his tractor made it about ten feet before clogging up with thick green paste. Rain!

There was a particularly impressive downpour right before the weekend - it looked like Lake Champlain had decided to empty into the Atlantic Ocean, via the aerial route. I spent a few minutes staring out the plate glass windows at my office, watching a solid wall of water exploding inches in front of my face, before I grew chicken. For a while I could dimly make out trees bending over towards the ground, then everything was obliterated by the rain.

When the storm passed, and I drove down to Brandon, the whole town had gathered at the waterfall that runs through the middle of the business district. Everyone was gawking at the creek, which was doing a passable imitation of the Amazon. It was a deep rust color from pine resin and earth, and smelled dank like the forest. It had risen higher than anyone could remember having seen it before, barely clearing the bottoms of shops built over the creek on now-submerged pylons.

I can't blame the rain for everything - certainly not for keeping away from this site for two weeks. If you've ever tried it, you'll know that abandoning a weblog can be a great release. All those free hours in the day! No need to check facts, revise, find interesting links. The world manages to get by without you!

But then thoughts start to percolate back up, you find yourself talking to the cat about America's scandalous lack of a coherent solar energy policy, and you know it's time to start writing the blog again. After all, if brevity is for the weak, you must be a complete wuss to stay silent.

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