We’ve had an extremely dry summer. The drought started in late November and we’re not finished yet. With so many of us in this part of the world relying on rainwater for our household use and in the garden, it has been a challenge. A couple of women attending Lucia’s yoga class yesterday said they’ve let go of watering their vegetable gardens. There simply isn’t enough water. I know these have been difficult decisions for each of them to make them because they love their gardens.
We’re lucky. We have one 5000 gallon tank supplied by the water collected on the roof of our large shed/garage. And we a have a huge rectangular concrete tank under the deck of our house, fed by the expansive roof area of this colonial bungalow. We still have water because we’re able to collect a lot from dew and from the very occasional light shower of the last months and because we practice frugality.
One of the bonuses of such a dry summer is that the water quality of the ocean is better than usual. This is because the rains are not washing pollutants from the soil to the sea. So we’ve been swimming a lot, often twice a day.
Yesterday I was out about 150 metres from shore in the midst of a flock of Fairy Terns. I would have thought they’d find more private fishing grounds when I arrived but, no, they continued to dive all around me. I surmised my flailing was disturbing the fish, making it even easier for the terns to find a meal. I didn’t mind at all.
Our drought is a reminder of the dualistic nature of our world. Often in the winter we have so much rain that the earth becomes saturated, leading to flooding the next time a heavy drenching of rain occurs. Then, you could say we have too much rain and now you could say we don’t have enough. I prefer to focus on what we have and what we’ve gained in each circumstance.
There is a positive for every negative. And our job is not to change (or want to change) the outer. This would mean resistance and resistance leads to pain. Our job is to turn away from our attachment to the outer, to form, and to find the deep abiding peace that exists inside, behind the surface of form and duality. This peace is totally independent of what is happening outside.
In the midst of our drought there is great beauty. Peaches and cherry tomatoes are ripening beautifully in the sun. The cicadas and crickets add their magical cadence to the ethers. Queen of the Night (Night Blooming Jasmine) and wild ginger lend their sweet fragrance. All is well in our world.
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John Haines is the author of In Search of Simplicity: A True Story that Changes Lives, a startlingly poignant and inspiring real-life endorsement of the power of thought, belief and synchronicity in one’s life