Well, what happened to my green guardians? The rains started to trickle down in mid March, and I felt completely justified in putting the survival of the green guardians in Mom’s garden at the top of the list in this small experimental effort to save fast evaporating water.
It was gratifying to see the green still on plants standing in a desert of yellow dried up grass. The dust rising from the ground was hot and choking. Even at night, the darkness was heated and humid, rising up through the cement floor. The stars were clear and diamond bright in the black sky. This would have been a welcome sight, if not for the heat, and the seemingly continuous absence of clouds.
The dawns were yellow, promising another hot, sticky day. So, I thought, ” Can I make clouds, by keeping the guardians well watered?” The media made much of cloud seeding efforts by the authorities and water supplier down south. Here in the north, state authorities were at first too sure and optimistic, until the dry-spell dragged on longer than expected. Then, they started dropping hints of possible water rationing. I prayed for rain and waited, while keeping the plants well watered when they showed signs of thirst – a little yellowing on leaves, a little shrinking, and dry spots on the succulents. I was dumping water on them, any water – car wash water, dish-washing water, rinsing water, and whatever water that would otherwise go down the drain.
My efforts were rewarded , when little bits of green started to show even on the lawn, while the potted plants retained their fresh, spritely looks.
The older deep-rooted trees along the roadside gallantly kept their lush greenery, as their roots still found ground water. They grew over 40 years or more and have stood there like veteran guards and warriors against the burning heat of the noon day sun. Giving shade to all who rested at their boles or beneath their widespread branches.
Then, one day I saw little bits of fluff crossing the sky, but they were light cirrus clouds blown rapidly on by the wind. On the day the sky darkened, the air suddenly cooled and rain drops spurted from the heavens, and my hopes soared likewise. But, deflated after 15 minutes. It was a short-lived hope, the torrent hadn’t come. In the following weeks, the clouds became heavier and darker and the spurts became more torrential, as if the clouds had been unblocked. The rains began to visit us more often and on some days, more than once a day. The garden is now, covered with fresh green grass and my green guardians smile with tiny fragrant blossoms. Even the hedge smiles with fresh light green shoots.
Yet, a reminder of those dry, dusty, sticky days stands just beyond the hedgerow – one tree that didn’t survive and perhaps can’t be saved. It’s skeleton just stands there, still dried up and sad. Let Deadwood remind us of the consequences of our heedless attitude and love of excess, that will be our own undoing – our potential Extinction.