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for March 30, 2005

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Droughts and Floods
by Your Diva, Robin Pastorio-Newman

Your Darling, Your Diva, Your One True Love writes these causeries on Monday nights, throws up her hands on Tuesday mornings and holds her breath until the things are published just after midnight on Wednesdays. At this Monday moment, it's raining sheets and a Flood Warning is in effect overnight. After the long, raw winter, filled with snowstorms and endless gray days in which time slowed down in December and seemed to stop altogether sometime in January, a cold soak is a walk in the park, just another bit of insurance against dry summers and angry bees.
Rain and more rain can be a drag, but it's good for the farmers, yes? You like tomatoes. Here in New Jersey, you need a healthy water table, decent irrigation and someone else to do the actual planting, weeding, watering and harvesting. Selflessly, you hope the farming will be easy because you demand perfection from your roadside fruit and vegetable stand along a county road near your house you found accidentally while visiting your cousin. You're not thinking of yourself at all, no! Vinny's got the superhot ex-girlfriend, you've got fresh mozzarella, and you've got a line on basil and tomatoes still warm, firm and fragrant from the field. So what's a little rain, eh?
Besides, our weather, wild as it may seem when we're floating downstream in a Buick, is mild compared to many places on the big blue planet. The western United States is suffering what meteorologists describe as a 500-year drought. Lake Powell, a reservoir on the Colorado River, has lost more than half its reserve; Lake Mead is down by more than a third since the drought began five years ago, depending on whose estimates one believes. Funny thing: whole towns submerged in the nineteen-thirties have started reappearing, not to mention geographical features like the Cathedral of the Rocks the Sierra Club's trying to save from more permanent re-hydration. Droughts aside, this morning our glamorous cousin emailed from Luxor, Egypt on the edge of the largest desert in the world. The whole thing could make one feel a bit...thirsty.
Out in the Ring of Fire, Sumatra has suffered another earthquake and the death toll is still rising. While we consider our responsibilities to our fellow human beings, it is important to realize that our impulses to return things to their former state, noble and altruistic, can sometimes go awry, as when we indulge in Extreme Spring Cleaning. Some people worry about a rumble in Little Rock or a sudden resurgence of Biblical plagues, but if we in the New York-New Jersey Metropolitan Area look out the window, it's damp out there, and we see no sign of frogs.
This evening, as Your Delight was peeling a shrimp for Larry, the little black cat bent on stealing your soul - what, you don't peel shrimp for your cats? - she wondered: Is it time, maybe, for ordinary Americans to get passports and see the wide world? Yes, it is. Choose destinations carefully; choose seasons wisely. While you can still shop for inexpensive plane fares and hotel accommodations, do it. And you will never appreciate the happiness you find in your own backyard as you do after you've been to Ecuador for no reason but that it's there. Your Sweetness promises.

©2005 Robin Pastorio-Newman

All material ©2001-2014 Sean Carolan, except as noted.


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