OFF-THE-GRID LIVIN’ PART 8C: DROUGHT

Last year was the worst so far in the California Drought. Our area averages about 21 inches of rain annually, and in 2015 we got 6.

Most of that came late winter in the form of pathetic drizzles. Short merciful acts of charity on the part of skinny clouds limping across the sky in late March. By the time they did show, the hills and trees had long since given up their gold/green hues, Battered grey by the dry wind and cold winter sun.

Still, the land proved opportunist, and resilient. I don’t understand the awareness of land, or how it weighs consequence, but it does. Those 6 inches would be all it would get, and the land would not loose the opportunity to live, love, and produce.In the months before, when rain should have been there but wasn’t, the trees self pruned. Pulling their juices as deep within themselves as possible, fruitless branches of luxury were drained and left to snap off in the fall breezes. Also in a preparation, last years parental grasses crumbled, bowed lower than its grandparents or great grandparents, to self dry mulch.  Making the earth-cradle for their seedlings as well made as possible.

Then everything waited… waited… waited for those 6 inches.

Then snap.

Instead of the luxuriant two to three months of green, it was compressed into two weeks.  The grass shot up young and green, touched, pollinated, thrust out their foxtail seeds, and quickly and graciously faced their martyrdom in robes of gold.

The trees likewise raced to construct new banks of chlorophyl solar panels. Leaves shifting from fresh viridian to stubbornly mature green umber. Then settled into a conservative summer of drawing life from the light of the severe summer sky.

There was chance to make it happen. One chance to grow. One chance to love.  One chance to make legacy.  It wasn’t a lovely chance, but when the land took it it took it head first.

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

“Listen.

Listen.

Hush my child.

Listen.

Pay attention or you may miss this…”