|Hope of Rain by J. Binford-Bell|
Yesterday was another trip to Raton. Another two hours each direction to search the barren landscape for buffalo or antelope or signs of rain. Another opportunity to Zen Out as I like to call it. I have always been a chop wood, carry water sort of mediator, and trapping me in a car with the cell phone off is almost like taking a retreat weekend on the fly. And yet I so resist this repeat journey. I have the road signs memorized even. And the effect of the drought on the land has been painful to see.
And yet drought comes and goes especially in the high desert. It is difficult to remember that with the extremes in weather we are now seeing. There is more and more proof of climate change. This drought might not end. And yet the trees think so. Their roots deep in the aquifer they have leafed out yet again. Their fresh and hopeful green a stark contrast to the dried grasses and barren soil. Toward the mountains on the north side of the highway there were building clouds and wisps of evaporating rain. And to the south there were dust devils blowing the parched soils as if they were powdered sugar.
|The barren wastes without a taste of water|
And yet the windmills were working to quench the thirst of the livestock and wildlife looking for the springs of green.
|Windmill on the plains|
The winds were horrific and all the livestock hunkered down. Only here and there was an antelope on the highway side of the fence looking for the grass that had not been eaten to the bare earth. And yet just a few miles down the road there was standing water in some of the creek beds and dry arroyos and previously empty stock tanks. Some of the dry thunder heads had produced brief but fierce down pours and the grass had responded with the first hints of green.
I found myself taking hope from the land we once so abused with overgrazing. Maybe, just maybe, it ultimately will not matter how much water we waste or how much we ignore the evidence or the history we can read on electronic tablets.
Maybe eventually I will even learn from my repeated mistakes I make. Just maybe I will heed all the lessons I have ignored; Recognize the similarities when another person like one in my past shows up again. It is a journey we continue over lifetimes. And sometimes it seems entirely too much the same. But it is the subtle variances we need to see or we will pass this way again.
Yesterday's journey made just the smallest of shifts in my attitude. From the trees I took hope. The glass is half full. And it will rain again. And there will be another difficult confrontation no doubt. But it only adds to my strength.