12 Months Later, Anything's Possible, Including You

Published 3:07 pm Tuesday, May 7, 2013

What a difference a year makes.

Twelve months ago, Farmville had already accumulated-pun intended-a precipitation deficit of more than 2.5 inches. As April turned to May last week, we have gratefully received a precipitation surplus of three inches during the first four months of 2013-2.99 inches, as measured by WFLO, the area's official National Weather Cooperative Observer, to be exact.

A turnaround of more than 5.5 inches.

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Perhaps not the precipitation equivalent of some rain-bearing Phoenix rising from its desert sandy ashes, but it will do. It will do nicely.

This time last year we were already building up a deficit that would produce a downpour of drought watches and warnings from DEQ as the year was waning, without raining, that would only be lifted this winter, after flooding.

The soil this spring is as deep down wet as anyone can remember, with groundwater healthier than it has been in ages, it seems. DEQ's April drought status report noted that stream flows and groundwater levels were within normal range across most of the Commonwealth-though there is a cautionary note that the positive situation may, in some areas, be temporary.

Every situation and circumstance in life is temporary, which is why there are insurance policies, time-share condos, and rather much interest in the Sandy River Reservoir.

The world around us today, however, feels redeemed, and looks it, too, with a soundtrack of singing birds and incessant lawn mowers, the grass seeming to have gulped prodigious quantities of espresso-laced hair-restorer.

Long may it continue.

We, of course, have no control over the weather. We can curse it, debate it, and blame twice the usual suspects for it, but we must certainly accept and deal with its consequences.

And prepare for its inevitable mood swings in the future.

But do take the time to soak up this spring's green promise deep inside you. Let it take root. Feel it bloom. Stop and smell the flowers.

Because there is more than one kind of drought in this world. In addition to the one the weather gives us, there are those moments when somebody, by accident or with forethought, does something to “drought” us. DEQ doesn't issue watches or warnings about them. They take us by surprise.

There you are, having a decent enough day that's green and blooming, full of promise and accomplishment, and suddenly somebody “droughts” you. Their attitude or actions seem to take all the green and every flower out of a moment and replace them with withered weeds and parched earth.

We all get “droughted” from time to time in life. It's never enjoyable and the first impulse is, of course, to “drought” them right back.

An eye for an eye and a “drought” for a “drought.”

But that just makes the “drought” bigger, spreads it out into other lives, a ripple effect of “drought.” You “drought” them back and they go home in a foul mood and “drought” their spouse, child or dog. It becomes a vicious circle, triangle, parallelogram, you name it, of “drought.”

Far better to conjure up some spiritual rain.

The next time somebody “droughts” you, count to 10 and find the place that feels like this joyously wet 2013 spring inside you. You'll know the feeling if you do-the peace that passes all understanding.

The weather gives us too many droughts as it is. We don't do ourselves or anyone else any good by adding to the watches and warnings.

Despite the seeming odds against this type of precipitation falling, there are times when we can be just the drop of rain somebody desperately needs to end their own drought.