The last two days in Tucson have me swooning. When rain comes in a typically dry region, it is truly a blessing. The scent of creosote floats low on the ground like a perfumed decongestant, it opens my lungs when I breathe deeply. The sound of winter rain is gentle because these are the slow soaking rains. I lay in bed listening to the drips and little drumming sounds as each precious drop falls to the ground.
Then I dream of the places — streets, homes, and businesses — where rain is being collected for later use. Shining swirled metal on cisterns by homes and shops, landscaping that directs rivulets of blue water into the roots of trees, along garden paths, and to fruiting citrus trees. Lemons, tangerines, kumquat, oranges and grapefruit trees are full now, gaily greeting passersby. On a morning’s walk around the neighborhood, I pick up a lemon that has dropped and rolled to the sidewalk. Fair game?
This is food security, at least part of it, besides enhancing the world in which we live. Collecting rain water is an old, maybe ancient, human art. My grandparents in Tennessee had a huge cistern on their farm. But, here in the desert lands of America that are heating and drying, it is an essential skill. Brad Lancaster, a local Tucson resident, has spent the last two decades of his life teaching himself and others how to harvest rainwater. This coming weekend he is a featured presenter at the Tucson TEDx conference. To learn more go to Brad’s website. I highly recommend his books. He is one of many many Tucson Treasures. Videos by Brad