Monday, February 17, 2014

Very Dry

The past week or two around the Bay Area would not give anyone the impression that we are in the midst of a drought. A presidential-visit-of-concern-type drought. We have had rain. We have had snow. We have started to get our collective hopes up.
On the other side of the country, it's cold. It's wet. It's downright inhospitable. So much so that newly minted New York Mayor Bill de Blasio took some heat where there wasn't much for keeping schools open in a blizzard. Other school districts in the northeast will probably have to keep their kids coming back into June or later to make up for the missed time this winter's storms have created. Kids in Manhattan are trudging to school in snow up to ten inches.
Meanwhile, out here in the arid wastes of California, I have students coming up to me with feat in their eyes wondering how we can expect them to go outside and play when there is a little mist in the air. We should be celebrating ever drop of water, every bit of moisture. They have started to measure rain in tenths of an inch. We are all relieved to hear that our reservoirs are at sixty-three percent of their capacity. At my house we have begun to keep the stopper in the drain during showers to keep track of how much water we are using. If it gets up over your toes, it's too much.
Still, I can't help but remember that everything is a cycle. My good friend and science teacher from back in my younger days used to remind us all, starting with third graders, that the water we are drinking has been around a long time. Since the dinosaurs. It takes a while for most third graders to make the connection, but since everything evaporates and eventually comes back down to earth, those raindrops and snowflakes may have once made a circuit through a brachiosaurus. Makes those ten inches of snow seem a little more ominous all of a sudden.

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