Tag Archives: drought

Water on the Brain

Water: beautiful, powerful, moving, treacherous, life-giving, flowing through our veins, through earth’s veins, taken for granted, precious, tenuous, unpredictable, limited, overflowing…

I feel like I have water on the brain.  I woke this morning to images of water flowing–a water main break in Los Angeles had me gasping at the waste of a precious resource.  Our drought in Southern California–in CA as a whole (and other western states)–is so severe that I feel the constant of thirst, in my throat, in my heart, for our plants and animals, for our people. Reservoirs and lakes have shrunken to show thick exposed shorelines, creeks are but a distant memory of a trickle.  And the flooding in Colorado has me wishing we could share in this bounty rather than experience the extremes of water.

Floods, like their cousins wildfires, remind us that there is much we do not and cannot control.

I spent time today on the banks of the Clark Fork River in Missoula, MT learning and thinking about the indigenous stories of this place.  The beauty of the river masks its troubled history and ancient lineage.  Indigenous and scientific knowledge swim in these waters that tourists may see as a playground, a place for floating on inner tubes and cooling off in the 90 degree temperatures.

clarkforkriver

Inspired by the water, I wrote with others as part of a mini writing marathon at our Intersections meeting today.  The writing was rich and layered with stories of experiences with water…or no water.  And changing the lens…through the indigenous stories and science…prompted our memories and connections, letting the stories pour like the water itself.

Like water, there is power in writing.  Power to connect, to heal, to think and reflect.  We sometimes forget that writing in unexpected places, creates new urgency and agency for our writing.  So go outside, find a place by a river, on the curb, under a tree, or even sit on the car bumper and see what writing comes when you change your lens.

Undulating Clouds

As I commute to and from work I hear the radio reports of the polar vortex and the frigid temperatures in the midwest and eastern parts of our country.  Cautions of frostbite in ten minutes to exposed skin.  Wind chills and snow and ice…

And yet here the weather is unseasonably warm.  We’ve mostly forgotten where we put our jackets, and shorts and flip flops are back to being a common sight in the community.  And the worry is rising too.  The last day we had any measurable precipitation was December 19th…more than a month ago…and this is our “rainy season.”  (As much of a rainy season as you get in a place with annual rainfall of less than 10 inches.)  Drought has risen above a whisper and we are remembering the horrors of wildfires and water restrictions, not to mention the hardships on farmers and the agricultural community.

But yesterday I had the opportunity to share my latest find with my husband and we drove to Double Peak Park, not too far from home, and looked out over the county.

Clouds swirled and churned, creating undulating patterns in the sky.  It seemed that we could see rain falling in the distance…high in the sky…never reaching the ground.  We wished and hoped for rain that never did materialize.

photo-83

It remained cloudy today, and the clouds gathered and churned in great gray billows in the theatre of tonight’s sunset.  But still we have no rain.  The forecasters are pointing to Friday for rain, but the percentage chances seem low and it wouldn’t be the first time that forecasted rain was canceled as we come closer to that day.

So I’m hoping for some milder temps for friends in the midwest and east…and I have my fingers crossed that we get some much needed rain here.  A bit every day would be ideal–our roads and buildings don’t handle large amounts well.  I’m sure my students would love to search under their beds for the forgotten rain boots, scour the garage for the misplaced umbrella…they might even locate that jacket shoved deep in the hall closet.  And I’ll even silence my complaints about the dreaded rainy day schedule at school and the mess of the indoor lunch–the rain will be worth it.

Think some rainy, wet thoughts for us!