OFF-THE-GRID LIVIN’ PART 8B: DROUGHT

Awareness and consequence. The lesion this land keeps bringing me back to. Awareness and consequence.

“Listen.

Listen.

Hush my child.

Listen.

Pay attention or you may miss this…”

So far, the drought has taught me that the land does not submit to victimization easily. The land is opportunist. It is determined to be fecund, to make love, and to create the next year’s generation. Gluttonous well pumpers and climate change be damned!

I had a sense of this my first year here. As winter rains turned the umber earth green, my eager hands twitched on the handle of my industrial strength weed whacker. I knew from past experience the grasses would luxuriate in slow supple growth, giving me plenty of time to mow them down before their pollen would mix and mingle, and the dreaded foxtails would be unleashed. I would clear the earth, have loads of compost, and have the land prepped for a large weed-less garden in the spring.

It took two weeks of regular hacking and mowing. I made use of every spare minute between jobs, family and studio. Learning to mow on steep hillsides and learning the basics of lawn & garden equipment repair. But in two weeks I managed to clear 2.5 acres. It was lovely.

It was less than a week for the grasses shot right back up to the level they were at before the mowing, and then promptly pop out their needle point foxtails. The love had been made all around me as I had been mowing, and the next generation was ready for launch. Right on schedule. That was 2.5 acres of green grass all flippin’ their long, thin, green fingers at my industrial strength weed whacker.