Nature cranked up the heat and turned off the spigots this summer. Some of us experienced the drought personally, even profoundly, like farmers, nurserymen, and those who lay sod for a living. Others were less directly affected, but there was instruction for all.

There’s nothing like a long dry spell, literally or figuratively, to make one pay attention to what sustains life. Water tops the list and folks are keen to that awareness. Informed Marion County residents dramatically cut their water usage just by being asked, well before the watering ban was declared. They stayed cooperatively engaged for the duration.

Sometimes an imbalance reboots things. When any one of us is faced with “drought conditions,” we are far more likely to explore our reach in terms of conservation, adaptation, innovation, and cooperation. Those endeavors may open up thresholds of success that would never have emerged otherwise.

Nature too, demonstrated her resilience. Many plants had a second blooming. Trees suffered but they too practiced their wisdom, dropping leaves to conserve moisture and sacrificing some limbs to retain life in others. Most survived. Trees—such stalwart souls—counseling us to manage what can’t be controlled. Go on—hug a tree!

“Nature is just enough; but men and women must comprehend and accept her suggestions.”

— Antoinette Brown Blackwell