"…By what stretch of arrogance do you think a life form that looks like you is more important than a life form that doesn’t?”Joel Salatin

Nothing is more beneficial to your wellbeing than to look for and acknowledge those parts of everyday life that you enjoy.

"If you are happy where you are now, why does it matter how painful it was to get there?" -- Abraham

"It is no bad thing to celebrate a simple life." -- Bilbo Baggins a.k.a. The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien

"And forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet, and the winds long to play in your hair." -- Kahill Gibran

“And forget not

Friday, October 10, 2014

The Time It Never Rained

 beautiful sky in Wichita Falls, Texas

Elmer Kelton wrote a novel entitled, "The Time It Never Rained".  I read it during the previous drought and talk about depressing!  It didn't even have a slightly hopeful ending.

Abraham Hicks says the main reason we don't get what we want is because we focus as much on what we don't want as what we do want. They call it "that little thing you do over and over again." With each person it's different, but it amounts to the same thing.  "I want this -- but ..." and then we list all the reasons why we think we won't get it. "I want a new car -- but I can't afford a payment." "I want a relationship -- but I'm afraid of getting hurt."

Many of us pray for rain similar to this, "Dear God, let it rain!" Then we remember our grandson's football game is Saturday, so the prayer changes to "Dear God, Let it rain but after the football game."

one of the collections of interesting yard art

Peggy Browning said she ran into "yes -- but" recently.  She'd say, "Isn't this a beautiful day?" And the person she'd spoken to replied with, "Yes  but we sure do need some rain." "Yes, but it's too hot."

Many of us don't know how to just enjoy the now. This moment right now when the sky is clear and blue and white clouds drift around giving us momentary relief from the direct sun.  Winter is coming and when it gets here, we'll all long for these warm sunny days. It's a negative habit to discount the loveliness of this moment because the next might not be as great.  As Abraham says, "Stop doing that!"

I think the fact that we blame the weather man when he doesn't get the forecast right has played a big roll in how the weathermen present their forecasts, which often destroys all hope of getting rain.  Actually I don't know anyone who is stupid enough to really hold the weatherman responsible when the weather takes a turn for the worse, but we do tease them about it and over the years, someone has made a mountain out of a molehill, so now they have to cover all the bases.

So we hear stuff like "There's a 40% chance of rain on Tuesday -- of course that means there's a 60% chance that it won't." I am perfectly capable of figuring this out myself -- if I wanted to -- but I prefer to focus on the 40% which is better than 20%. Right?

They show us weather maps with a huge rain system splattered across the western United States moving east and they say, "This huge system is moving right this way -- but we're probably not going to get any of it."

I got tired of having my hopes repeatedly dashed, so I downloaded a couple of weather apps onto my phone and I turned off the tv.  If weather apps eventually cause someone to lose their job as a weatherman, I'm sorry.

a nice arrangement of junk
I don't pretend to have any solutions to our water situation. Abraham likens dire situations like the one we are in,  to a person jumping out of an airplane without a parachute.  "What do I do now?" the jumper wants to know, and Abraham says, "Hold on.  It'll be over soon."

In other words, when we get ourselves into situations like this drought, there isn't much we can do about it, but wait it out.  It'll either kill our town -- or a solution will come - as in torrential long term rain. It can happen.  It has before.

But I have gained an understanding of how we got here.

Looking at our drought situation from the perspective that we create all this with thought, consider how many generations have dreaded droughts.  Since this area isn't that great for growing stuff that needs lots of water -- like cattle and vegetable gardens, water has always been a concern.  So lets start there.  There are lots of farmers and ranchers in North Central Texas.

Every time the spring rains are less than they were the year before, they remember the last full blown drought.  They remember the worst of the hard times. They discuss it with their friends and neighbors, and in doing so, they keep the possibility of another full blown drought active in their magnetic field.  You and I listen to the local news on which they report the worst of the last full blown drought.  They add drama to it by showing us how low the lakes were during the LFBD (last full blown drought) and how low they are now and even tell us how many days of water we still have in our main reservoir. And guess what?  We get worried, too. We start "conserving" water which is more of a negative practice than a positive one because it reeks of worry and "not enough", which is the same vibration as the drought itself.

We argue about whether watering lawns should be allowed, then in that same down vibration as "conserving", our city officials decide to "ration" the water. Now the full blown drought possibility is in every body's face.  We talk about it with everyone we meet.

We think about and discuss the possibility of selling our homes and leaving Wichita Falls but by now the situation feels so hopeless, most people add to that negative conversation by saying, "Who would buy our homes?  No one wants to live in a city where there isn't any water. This place is going to be a ghost town."

Mexican petunias

So the City starts scrambling to get the water purification system on line, that they'd built several years ago in anticipation of the next full blown drought.  The public has an immediate negative response and nick names the system "poop water" and they make T-shirts that say, "Wichita Falls -- we put the number 2 back in H2O".

Nobody feels good about any of it. Then they tell us that the water purification system will only provide water for 2 years -- so this is only a temporary fix -- an expensive temporary fix -- which was part of the reason water rates almost doubled. Nobody feels good about that either.

"Pray for rain" signs are everywhere.  A friend told me she was getting tired of begging for rain.  I said, "God's probably sick of listening to us too. He's probably thinking what every parent says when their kids are nagging incessantly, 'You're not getting it until you shut up.'"

There are lessons to be learned from every trying situation including this drought.  Number one in my mind is that North Central Texas in general, Wichita Falls in particular has never been appreciated for what it is.  It is a harsh landscape with unpredictable weather.  Many of us ask too much of it.  We want it to be like some place else and complain when it doesn't conform. But it is what it is. It's always been this way and to wish, and beg for this zebra to change its stripes is useless.

There are things we can do to improve our future in Wichita Falls.  Number one, look for reasons to appreciate this place we call home.  I'm sure that if I were God, nothing would piss me off worse than folks asking for more stuff when they don't even take time to say thanks for all the good stuff I've already given them.

I'm going to step out on a limb here and say, I love Wichita Falls. Sometimes I'm not real sure why. Yes, the politics suck.  Our city leaders have made some really stupid decisions which we are clearly paying for now, but you know what? As long as water flows from my faucet when I turn it on, I'm good.

The social cliques suck, but guess what?  There are hundreds of fine, fun folks to socialize with who don't give a flip about all that fancy stuff either, so I'm good.

I've awakened nearly every morning of my life in Wichita Falls.  It's my home.  My front yard is a disaster. The beautiful St. Augustine that Ronnie slaved over is gone and all that remains is dirt and a few spreading patches of Bermuda.  But the pecan tree is still alive. So are the crepe myrtles.

And when the rains come again, which they will soon, I'm going to plant native plants.  It really doesn't make any sense to use anything else.

In closing, I'll add a word of warning: If you're not tough as a boot, it's senseless for you to plant yourself  here.

beautiful evening sky

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