Wednesday, June 25, 2014

From Floods to Drought

I could not see for the spray the big semi sent up as I passed it going 85 miles per hour. The wipers slapped frantically back and forth. I just had to trust that I would hold the line and my lane. The slight hydro-plane did not do much for my confidence.

Northern Minnesota has had more than its share of rain this spring. Fields that are normally rich with corn, hay, soy, and other crops are under water. Friends say that they will have to sell their dairy cows because they can't afford feed.

I drive for hours in a rain that doesn't let up. It rained yesterday too, and the day before that. This is strange for me, the desert dweller. I don't know how to navigate the standing water of the freeway.

I wish I could send just a few of these storms to Arizona and New Mexico. We are parched down there. The records for lack of rain match the records for the abundance of rain in Minnesota.

There is dust in the wind rather than raindrops.

As I pass Sauk Centre, Alexandria, and then Saint Cloud, I look ahead to my trip south. Tomorrow I will drive from Minneapolis to Madison. Then we will fly to Dallas, if the weather permits. From Madison we will fly to Albuquerque. After about 23 hours of travel, we will arrive in El Morro, New Mexico, where we are building a house, building a late mid-life adventure in the Desert Southwest.

The ponderosa pines along the rock face to the south of the house are dying for lack of water. Dust blows in the windows and under the doors.

As I drive toward Minneapolis in the rental car, on my way to catch a plane, and then pick up an old truck in the Park-n-Save at the Albuquerque Airport, I know that it is me and my kind who are the cause of climate change.

The question now is who will begin to accept responsibility for these changes. What will we do? How shall we respond?

The Mississippi is running high and brown by the time I get to Minneapolis. I keep my thoughts to myself as we get together for food and drink, soil and water, sun and wind.

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