DSCN0371Rain, July 10, 2013

We were braced
for another killer July.
Another summer
of days-on-end
triple-digit temperatures
and drought.
We had enjoyed
rain in June
but, as July approached,
expected hellish days
to return.
They did not.
July has brought weather
we thought not to even dream.
Cool mornings and evenings,
even some days;
and rain,
much more rain
than we’ve seen in any month
for a couple of years,
let alone the heart of summer.
This July in our part of the state
is the third wettest (5.80 inches)
on record since 1921.
We still can’t believe it.
We still approach each day
as if it is the day to break
the dream-July bubble.
We still savor every cool breeze,
give thanks
for every drop of rain,
for every moment of cloud cover.

One thing has become clear:
I have climate change anxiety.
And another
has become clearer:
climate change is our reality now,
even when it brings
relief.

Weather has always been central
to life here on the farm.
A day’s activity often depends
on the weather.
We’ve seen towns blown away,
crops destroyed by various weather events:
drought, hail, wind, floods.
The dryness or moisture
of the soil dictates
farming, ranching decisions.
Too, we’ve enjoyed
the flora and fauna
of the prairie
as it blooms
and thrives.
Weather is central.
And so watching it change,
watching the old patterns disappear
and the new extremes become
“normal”
and wondering what extremes
will do
to life here—
watching ponds and water wells dry up,
Red Cedar, for heaven’s sake,
die—
has been anxiety-producing.
What will become of the life
we live here on the prairie
with the flora and fauna?
We don’t know.
But we can see climate change
every day
here
and all around the world.
And on this last day
of the most scrumptious
July
anyone in these parts
can remember,
we are grateful
that the change has brought
relief
rather than disaster.
And we know
it
will
change.