On a Monday

By Matt Potter

Radical Joy 

Catholic Stewardship and Abundance

The title of today’s column is the same as the title of a song written by Huddie Leadbetter, better known as Leadbelly.

It is a very short song in which Leadbelly lists the days of the week and the bad things that happened to him.

On a Monday, I was arrested,

On a Tuesday, locked up in jail…”

From there it goes downhill for our friend and things don’t get resolved into a happy ending.  

As I write this, dear reader, it is a Monday. It is raining for the first time in many days, and the earth (and my lawn) are welcoming the moisture with open arms.

Rain here is different than rain in Wyoming, where we spent so many years. For one thing, rain in Wyoming is often the frozen kind, as in snow. When it does rain, very seldom is it a nice, gentle day-long rain, either. Most times it is a violent thunderstorm often involving hail the size of golf balls.

On August 1, 1985, Cheyenne received six inches of rain in two hours. This included hail that piled up to six feet deep in places. The entire city was under siege as the small creek that runs through town known as Dry Creek became a raging river that spread far beyond its banks, creating devastation that cost millions of dollars in damage and killing thirteen people. It was a terrible event, and I would not want to live through something like that again.

Evansville, however, seems to just swallow the rain, regardless of how much comes down. I know there are places that become flooded and impassable, but it seems to me that given a few hours most of that water ends up in the Ohio River and we soon forget about it.

Today, we had a rainstorm that included some thunder, lightning and a goodly amount of rain. When that happens, the street in front of my home floods from curb-to-curb, extending into my front yard and driveway producing a small river made wild from the wake created by passing vehicles.

Today was also garbage and recycling day. Last night, when it was dry, I wheeled my containers to the curb as I do every garbage and/or recycling day. There they sat, awaiting the truck that would remove their contents from my possession so I could start the trash cycle once more.

When I looked out the window to see what was happening with the rain, I saw three items of interest: the rain was coming down in buckets; the street was flooded from curb-to-curb; and my recycling container was on its side, filling with water, its contents spilling out and floating away.

This called for immediate action, so I put on a pair of flip-flops, grabbed an umbrella and waded into the shin-deep stream wearing gym shorts and a t-shirt. My objective was to make upright the overturned container and collect the flotsam that was floating in front of my neighbor’s home. Thank God there was no one outside with a camera.

As Catholic stewards, we give thanks to God for the gifts we have been given. This morning I was thankful for the rain, as the ground in which we grow our food was parched from too many days without moisture.

I was thankful for a home that was dry and a roof that does not leak when many people are unable to shelter themselves from storms and have to survive in the wet and cold.

I was thankful for the trash container, the truck that would take the trash from me, and the truck driver who works in the rain doing a dangerous, stinky and necessary job.

I was thankful for the fact that the trash gets carted away, as there are many thousands of the poorest of the poor who live and eke out a meager existence in the dumps of some of the largest cities in the world.

On a Monday when my street was flooding and I had to go outside in clothes that should have been relegated to strictly inside use to retrieve my trash can and trash that was floating away, I thank God for all the gifts with which I have been entrusted.  

God is good. This should be a great week, and it’s only Monday.

As always, thanks for reading. I would love to hear from you. Write to me at [email protected]; check out our blog radicaljoy.blog/.