Oh I Wish It Would Rain

Your soundtrack for this post, m’dears.

I told a friend yesterday that I remembered the drought of ’77, when I was six years old, and how I can’t leave the faucet running when I brush my teeth without feeling like a criminal. She blinked at me and said,

You were six years old in 1977?

Yes, yes it’s true folks, I really am that old. So respect yer elders and listen up.

I had earmarked mid-January as the point at which I would start worrying about water. My inner wild critter was growing increasingly restless last November, wondering Where’s the Rain? But there were holidays to get through and seemingly bigger fish to…uh…catch and release. We’ve had a couple of dry years here in SF, and rain is never far from my thoughts. However, after nearly 20 years in the Bay Area, I have a felt understanding of the rain rhythms, and knew that the first two weeks in January were usually dry. So I planted a little red flag in my brain calendar to fret about rainfall right about, well, now. And then Guvnor Brown issued the decree on Friday. So it’s official…time to start worrying.

Actually, I hope that you’ve been concerned enough about water before now, to have already adopted every day conservation efforts in your home. Because without water, even the ridiculous substitutes in the video below wouldn’t exist.

There’s lots of info out there about how you can conserve water, and I encourage you to check out Save Our H2O.

However, all the tip sheets in the world aren’t going to be helpful without a shift in our thinking about WATER. Water, that element that is of primary importance for all life forms, and also that thing that we flush our toilets with.

I am convinced that our relatives of the future will look back on our water practices and be utterly convinced that we were nuts.

Conserving water is most easily done if it becomes a practice. By that, I mean something that you make a decision to do consciously. A dedication, an intention, a goal.


We put up little signs at all of our faucets, with illustrations by Fern. However, even with a sign as a reminder, other members of our household who have not made a conscious decision to conserve water still let the faucet run while washing dishes like the supply is infinite.


How to do this? How to bring your own water use into the forefront of your attention, rather than letting it sit on the back burner of auto-pilot? Well, here’s a few things to try…

WATCH water conservation videos, such as these.

DECIDE, right now, on three things you are going to do to save water, such as…

-Take 5 minute showers
-Turn of the water while brushing teeth or shaving
-Only fill up your water glass or bottle as much as you will drink, instead of to the top
-Set your sprinklers to come on before the sunrise
-Forget washing your car

Etcetera. You will find that just having made a decision to save water will bring it to the surface of your daily thinking.

PAY ATTENTION. Put your awareness on water whenever you use it…while washing dishes, bathing, etc. This is also known as mindfulness…make your mind full of water. The sensation of it, the taste of it, the miracle of it.

The straight up miracle of water. That amazing liquid substance that you can step through and also float upon. That fountain of life that makes possible everything you see before you. Not only the food you eat and the water you drink, but your life and therefore, the capability of civilization. We live on a planet perfectly hospitable for carbon based life forms…life forms that came from the water, who are up to 75% made of water and who depend on water to survive.

What a gift. Let’s cherish it.

For more info:

Water efficient landscaping

What’s causing the drought

25 ways to conserve water in the home and yard


9 thoughts on “Oh I Wish It Would Rain

  1. You have not enough water and we have too much. Summer has taken a holiday this year down here. Hope we swap back soon. I read the “What’s causing the drought” link…..I should take informative links more often!!!! Take care friend.

  2. That Sesame street video of the fish in the pond plays in my head every single time I brush my teeth and has done since I was a child. I was trying to describe it to my girls recently, but now I’ll just show it to them. I live on a wet little island, but that doesn’t mean we don’t try to conserve water. Only boiling the amount of water we need for tea, using a can rather than a hose to water the garden, etc. We have just recently had water meters installed in our area and we’ll be charged for water soon, so that gives me an even greater incentive to be watchful of our consumption. Thanks for the tips, Mary xx

  3. I am so with you here, Mary (I feel guilty every time I shower more than 5 mn, which is a bit tempting during freezing winters with not much money for heating my flat ;o) but I gather the water from showers and baths in 2 or 3 buckets, and I use it for hand-washing clothes, cleaning the floor, and (most of all) flushing the toilet.

    I think education is key – I grew up in a waste-awareness home, and it does have an influence on my whole way to consider our planet as a gift and a companion, not a resource for human use (I loved that Derrik Jensen interview !) – and guess what ? I was six years old in 1977 ;o) (I actually turned 7 that September).

    Long ago, America’s First Nations created songs for healing water; here is the Nibi Wabo :


    Also, I thought you might like to know that I have created my blog! It’s bilingual, so scroll down for the English versions of my posts (the French is published afterwards). The next post will feature samples of my drawings :o)



  4. Hi Mary, I made a comment to this post 2 days ago and I’m afraid it’s been categorized as a spam, since I included two links – apparently it is still “awaiting moderation”. Should I try and leave it again, but without the links?

    1. i got your comment, thank you! i didn’t realize it wasn’t “approved” yet. i am looking forward to checking out that song when i can sit with it for a moment and give it full attention and I AM STOKED about your new blog! i took a peek at it yesterday and will be back soon with comments…and you’ve got a devoted follower, for sure! xo

      1. Thank you Mary for your kind comments here and on my first post! This blog is really a turning point in my life, since it is brimming with creative possibilities and meaning at the same time: sharing all this with you girls (and guys) gives me balance and strength (and grace, hopefully :o)
        Much love! xo

  5. every day i wish it would too.
    i feel wild and panicky, and my
    nagging self is up and about, wanting to move.
    wanting to homestead,
    wanting to run away and get safe.
    there is no peace without rain.

    i’ve been trying to write a post about all of this.

  6. This is such scary-ass business! It’s been rather dry here as well and it is NOT SUPPOSED TO BE DRY IN THE PNW in January. There’s just scary weather news everywhere. We’ve been conserving water for a while, because no one actually seems to know how much of there is out here, but we’re even more conscious of it now that we live in a house with a shallow well. Sigh. I’d like to say I hope it rains there (and here) soon, but I don’t think the facts leave a lot of room for hope.

  7. I remember the flood of ’77. I was six years old too. My brother and I were kinda stoked at the time, we couldn’t leave our house, we couldn’t go to school…Of course that was winter down here in the Southern part of the world; rain was expected back then when we still had seasons. My childhood knew four distinct seasons, each precious in unique ways.

    Last week it rained multiple days, I go out more often than not wearing my winter coat, and every day although I vow to be cheerful when asked “How are you” I grumble “Cold”. It is summertime. Two months into summertime yet my pretty summer things hang wistful in the closet, longing…

    So, whilst down here we are not facing/or in the midst of a scary drought I empathise in my bones that fear of realisation that these weather patterns are so…Other. It’s not making sense.

    You and your Fern are admirable in the face of it all with conservation efforts. I love the idea of little reminds at all the taps, a kind of ‘please take your shoes off at the door and use no water’. I love it.

    I’m so sorry – I just cannot seem to write a brief comment ;/

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s