Life Lessons from this Drought

Photo from Zimbio This is nearby Lexington Reservoir.

We’re experiencing a drought in California. Living on a well with neighbors whose well went dry, coming from farm country, and my general anxiety about everything, this drought has me worried. But I have learned a few things so far.

Stay Present: We have had some stunning weather. Just gorgeous. The kind of days that make us all think This is Why We Live in California. But these days have a tinge of threat around the pretty edges of what will come because a lot of those days should have been filled with rain. So we had a lot of great beach days but WHAT ABOUT THE RAIN.

So, what to do? Stay inside and fret? Glower at the blue sky and sulk?

I enjoyed the days. We went for walks and grilled on the bbq in January and all sorts of activities not usual for the season. Worry is a feigned belief in control. One thing I have no problem admitting is I can not control the weather. So it was a good reminder to let go of all worry as I let go and stayed in the present moment of sunshine. Releasing the worry of what will come this summer and enjoying the rainless day I was given was something I had to practice a few times, but it was good.

Reframe the Rain of the Past: There were many a rainy day in past years that I was not a good sport about it. It can rain a lot here and drip for days even when the rain stops. Power outages, trees down, mud slides and road closures. As we now face drought conditions, it has made me think of those days past and been intent on reframing those annoyances as blessings of WATER. And a new intent for the future. I am going to move more gently through those rainy days of the future.

We’re All in This Together: I have seen more community spirit over this drought than anything for a long time. So many times we know what we don’t agree on, how different we are and all those other people who are wrong. But I have seen so many expamples of our similarities and unity as people share and commune over the drought and its impact. The drought is not a good thing, but the community and reminder that we are all in this together (regardless of denomination, voting record or income status) is a good thing.

Waiting for rain.

Waiting for rain.

Faith in the Unseen: I have lived through droughts before. I have memories from the 70s of my Grandfather standing outside the bathroom door timing showers. My Grandma put a piece of tape in the tub and you were not allowed to fill your bath beyond that tape line. You had to squish to the front of the tub to get enough water to cover your feet. Bricks in toilet tanks and watering plants with dishwater. Irrigation ditches normally deep enough for swimming, filled with crackled dirt. And…

The droughts ended.

The water came.

We got through it.