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Blooming in Drought

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A flower, she spoke to me. Blooming from a rock crevice.

We’ve only had an inch of rain since the beginning of December. The level in our supply tanks is lowering every day. Since we want to have gardens, guests, and community, this just might have to be a year that we haul it in. It’s been seven hears since we have done that. The last time, we only got four inches the whole year.

It’s ridiculously inexpensive to truck water in. But that’s not the point. When you live off the rain, that relationship of dependence and connection with your environment is precious. Also, with just the rain, we have the best water.073

What the flower said to me is, “Even now, I can bloom.” The brilliant golden petals glow against a bubble of dark sandstone. In these conditions, this ordinary blossom has more power, more influence. I can certainly feel it. And by witnessing this strength, I share in it.

Looking up, I scan the desert hills. They glow a tinge of green. No one can stop the Earth from waking in the Spring. She will use whatever water she has to grow, to clothe the land in tiny blades of grass. We can all be so resourceful. So resilient. To just go ahead and bloom anyway.069

When I open my attention to the news that concerns our lands, the lands and waters of this beautiful continent, I see another kind of drought. An absence of concern from those who have the power to set policy. This absence of care for the health of our lands and waters is paired with a concern for short term gain- for what can translate to money, right now.

Yet the power each of us has to enlist a leadership of care, includes our decisions of who we choose to follow. This land is also filled with creatures who share their messages and wise ways with each other. The coyote, the cottontail, the tarantula, the saltbush, and sage. They are all one. And we are all one. Can we see that? Can we act like it?076

Perhaps we can even bloom in the midst of our drought. And have more power for it.

I kissed the flower and we walked on, to find the place of the tall grasses, where the deer bed down. This is a place made by humans. An earthen dam allows the water to pool and the grasses to create a dense thatch. The vegetation tells us it was constructed long ago. We don’t know more than that, and that the dry hollowed stems pile up to provide a warm mat for the deer to cluster their bodies together on a winter day, sharing warmth in a valley rarely visited by humans anymore.055

On the way back home, Andy and I decide that it’s best to act like this awkward adolescence of humanity can be grown through. Because it’s more fun that way. And to act otherwise would be to prevent it. We dedicate ourselves to blooming despite it all.

Our golden petals glowing against the sandstone cliffs might have their own power.

Written by Amanda Bramble

Check out our Spring Events and Plant Sale at ampersandproject.org

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2 thoughts on “Blooming in Drought

  1. Amanda – Beautifully written; and the writing accompanied by beautiful visuals that round-out the story and give it context. All the more motivation for me to tackle my new assignment, here in Minnesota, working with a team of climate change assessment and adaptation scientists – who plan to go state by state to achieve the goals established by the Paris Accords.

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