Thursday, January 28, 2010

This Is the Way It Used To Be


Northern Arizona has been paralyzed by rain and snow for several days.  Driving is treacherous through the hills and banked hair-pins of the roads and mountains.

My neighbor, Katie, remarked with a smile and obvious enthusiasm,  “This is the way it used to be.”  Katie Lee is 90 yrs old and has been out here for 50 years. 

Her perspective is invaluable either as an environmental commentator or harbinger of things to come.  Precipitation is at record or near-yearly record levels in this area, but her thoughts should give us pause.

Ought we to think of our soggy environment as temporal or should we think that this variable desert environment will settle back to its usual drought conditions? 

In simple terms, is this the way it will be or should we suspect that the snow plows will soon no longer have reason to cruise the roads?

Can we trust that our water glasses will fill in the future? I’m betting that the conditions that formed the gullies and arroyos we see today as dry, will remain dry in the future.  I think Katie does, also.