Words don’t grab it. Roasty days, kids with sweaty foreheads and dirty nails. Grass brown and parched enough to skewer a birthday balloon. Sun, grand and proud and framed in abundant blue. Pools become priceless, sprinklers work like heck. Kids and land and plants are wildly thirsty.
School kids must bring water bottles, parents assured that at least: we won’t let them dehydrate. A Midwestern parent says a prayer of thanks because even though it’s dry and hot, we’ve got access to water and our kids are safe.
Farmers worry on low yields. What they worry on, so should you. Today, the average U.S. farmer feeds 155 people.* A scorching drought spells trouble for each of those folks and families. High prices, high demand – it’s all a part of what happens when there isn’t enough.
Earlier this year, ranchers faced a hay shortage due to dry conditions in the west. To feed their cattle, hay was trucked in from places further east. This means a larger carbon footprint, whopping fuel costs and precious time and energy. This harsh path simply feeds the cattle. When the food itself finally reaches your family, you’ve missed the struggle but perhaps you’ve paid for it.
Rain, it seems, could have trickled its saturating goodwill all along the food chain.
Begging, pleading, soul-selling praying is underway in Texas, Oklahoma and New Mexico where levels are “Exceptional”, the top of the heap for drought ratings according to the US Drought Monitor. You see, it doesn’t get any worse than this, particularly now when flames are fanning wildly across the region. It’s not only dry, it’s on fire in every sense of the word.
Rain, it seems, would offer a swollen sense of relief for these families.
This morning, we woke to rain in Illinois. It shed down the driveway and spattered in through the screen door, dampening the wood floor and soaking a rug. My daughter and I smiled at this. She used her umbrella (which has been a soccer-game parasol for weeks) and walked through puddles on her way to preschool. We need it, we all say to each other: the school secretary, the cable man, my neighbor wanting garden-fresh peppers.
Most Americans live in a comfortable world of air conditioners, heaters, water abundant enough to swim and water lawns. We tend to grouch at the TV when the weatherman gives it to us: it’s not nice out today.
To really feel the Earth, and understand how much we truly rely upon her, we need to pause from this behavior and look at our natural connectors, the things that bind humans to Earth. Rain is one of them.
As I finish this piece, the sun’s burning through a bleached white sky. This rain is likely over. Don’t know when we’ll get more. Until then, I’ll take note of what Earth does offer be it sun, or clouds or something else. I’ll say a prayer of thanks for whatever falls from the sky.
How do you view a rainy day in your country or geographic location?
This is an original post to World Moms Blog by Jill Barth of Illinois, USA.
*According to Illinois Farm Bureau.
Photo credit to Karl on Sea. This photo has a creative commons attribution license.