Thursday, May 7, 2015
I received a notice from my local water board today. All residents in my area are required to reduce water use by 20 percent.
But here's the thing: the drought is old news. I've been conserving water for the past three years. I ditched the lawn and shovel-pruned the tropicals. I recycle my grey water, and shower with friends. If water levels sink from worse to worst, which it appears they will, the only further contribution I can make is to hang out at Devil's Gate and spit in the aquifer.
There was a time when the California climate was such and water flowed so plentifully, we could pretend to live in England, or on the East Coast, or in the Mid-west -- really, pretend to live anywhere but California -- and plant and grow whatever we deemed aesthetically pleasing. Or, let's be honest here, whatever the whole rest of the world considers aesthetically pleasing. Back in the not too distant day, green wasn't a state of mind or a philosophy or a mandate, green was a color, the color of our Bermuda grass and Dichondra.
It hurts to wake up and leave the dream behind.
Sure, we can still grow things, twig-like plants that know how to shrivel without dying, and practice this trick for most of their lives.
I understand we should be good sports. We should heap praise on the twigs, or say something nice, at least. Like, "Would you call that brown-brown, brownish-beige, or taupe?" or "I'll just bet there's life in there, somewhere." But the difference between what we had and what we'll have is the difference between a Dickensian prime rib Christmas dinner and a sack lunch.
Still, what are you going to do? Either accept the new California reality, or move. I'm trying the former, because I'm not ready for the latter. Not yet.