Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Wasted on All the Wrong People

It has occurred to me, on more than one occasion, that sometimes, good things are wasted on all the wrong people.

"Youth is wasted on all the wrong people", said the old guy on the front porch, as George Bailey hesitates to kiss Mary in the hydrangea bushes in It's a Wonderful Life.

Tornadoes and hurricanes occur with unheard of ferocity, at least in my life time. Once lush, fertile farm land has, in these days, become dry, hardpan, cracked, surfaces of clay that extend feet into the earth. High winds topple century old oak trees killed by drought. This hard clay of earth, now holds no water, even if it comes hurling from the sky. Inches, nay, feet of water pounding, compacting the already hard-rock soil, runs off carrying things with it, into our low places. The timing is all wrong too. When once we counted on a bounty of Spring rains prior to the blast furnace of the western Arkansas summers, and then bountiful fall rains to replenish the soil for the winter greens and soon to come spring asparagus, we now get a deluge in late March or early April, and then nothing until November.

But that is not all. Climate change, or whatever you want to call it, also wastes the bounty we do receive on all the wrong people. Not only does the cool weather finally come up to a month later than it did at the turn of the millennium, the heat comes later and is more intense. Stretches of drought and 100 degree days, make the long hot summer that much longer and that much hotter, and the farmers like me that much grouchier. It makes us wonder why we do what we do...

As I left the office building in downtown Little Rock, where I am attending some training, the clouds rolled in, the thunder boomed lowly, and the lightning cracked. By the time I finished my taco to head back to class it had come a deluge. "I wish it would stop raining. Everyday this week its rained right at lunch time and I get soaked on my way back to the office", one fellow diner bellowed - not using her inside voice at all.

It was then that it occurred to me that this rain, this bounty from heaven has been wasted on this ignorant urbanite. Farmers in 91 counties in Arkansas would give, their whatevers, for an afternoon rain shower for a week. While I am taking city water from the reservoir to water my garden, the Big City is taking rain that should be falling on my garden, collecting it in gutters and drains connected to underground pipes and dumping these gallons of life sustaining liquid, now mixed with city-filth, into the Arkansas River.

This rain today and like the rain of the past week has been wasted - on all the wrong people.

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