Woke up this morning to this headline in the local paper:
At first I thought it meant that we would have to abandon the GANG garden, our little fruit trees, and pond.
The garden has already suffered. Many blackberries died on the vine, shriveled into tiny replicas of their normally juicy selves.
But no. At least not yet. Gardens that produce food, trees not yet five years old, and ponds that harbor aquatic life are exceptions, if watered between 6 p.m. and 10 A.M.
I found my reaction to the headline interesting. On the one hand, I had an immediate frantic urge to go out and water, right now, including topping off the pond. But then, I thought, what if everybody did that?
Then I read down to see where my main concerns are covered. That the GANG garden can continue, at least for now.
Then I looked around at my neighborhood, and noticed how we have all been following these restrictions anyway. Nobody waters their lawns. We’ve never done that. We never needed to. Summers in Indiana can be counted on — correction, could be counted on — to produce lots of drenching thunderstorms. Not this year.
I wonder, how many of us are not watering our lawns because we don’t own “sprinklers” and figure this drought will soon be over, and how many are actually in tune with what’s happening and realize that watering a lawn is a luxury that cannot be justified during a drought. In other words, how many people are seeing their own problems in the fabric of the whole?
More: will this drought help us recognize the foolishness of big lawns, something in which many Hoosiers take great pride, using their precious weekend hours to sit on little tractors mowing vast tracts of chemicalized green?
Back to the headline, the story, and my response: I notice myself with two minds: one seeking to protect my own stuff, and the other not. I am attached to my own creations, and yet the larger part of me notices that in certain conditions, this desire is selfish. That “if everybody did that,” the result would be disaster for all.
I try to notice when I’m being selfish, and stop this part of me from acting. I don’t always succeed. But in this case, of water, the lifeblood of our earth and of our bodies, it’s very important that each of us becomes aware of these two parts of ourselves, and recognizes that we are all in this together.