Whatever happened to the drought we were having?

A drought seems to be like a chronic disease. Once the authorities have informed us that we have it, it never goes away. Mere water is not enough.

We can experience rain for 40 days and 40 nights, and Noah’s Ark may have been sighted in the area, but the authorities will still insist: “While we have had some significant recent precipitation, it will require far more soaking rain in order to alleviate the drought.”

As a drought develops, it is repeatedly illustrated in the media with maps showing areas of gold, orange and red, each one angrier than the last. But a drought is never officially declared to be over. People might say: “Remember the drought of 1982?” And someone may respond: “Yes, but there was never any official word that it ended, so I guess it must still be on.”

So the drought lingers on in the official books. Eventually the authorities grow old and retire to Florida, and the memory of it gradually fades away.

Until the next one begins, and only then can we be sure that the last one actually ended.

Edmund Peay


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