There will be times, when regardless of your effort, everything you touch turns to crap: You can’t get a date; you can’t hit the baseball to save your life; the work project fell apart; These are examples of the many different kind of dry spells we experience in life. They are the moments and times when nothing is growing and all you can do is pray for rain.
Agriculture, as we have observed before, is the basis of many of the common phrases and colloquialisms used by society. In this case, a dry spell is when your fields are experiencing drought, and you can only hope for salvation from rain.
Modern agriculture suffers less from dry spells than it did in earlier times, now many farms invest in irrigation equipment to prevent crop loss from long dry periods. But not all farms have this, small farmers especially suffer in the same ways their ancestors did, waiting out the drought with hope and prayer.
Last week I was driving through Iowa for work, and it was hot and dry – Not unexpected for July. The farmers I had talked with told me that it had been that way for more than a month, with very little rain falling in that time. Several doubted that there would be much of an Organic corn crop in part of the state, even if it had started raining, much of the damage had already been done.
On the way home, driving through Des Moines, a huge thunderstorm hit. It was as if the heavens had opened up and dropped a lake on us. It wasn’t the ideal spot to be while driving home on the interstate, traffic slowed and at moments came to a halt. The farmers at least, would benefit from the storm.
Sitting there in traffic, it started me thinking about dry spells and the impact they can have on our lives and farms.
When we have a dry spell, the longer it lasts the worse it gets. We often start to wonder if it will ever end. The fields become dusty and nothing seems to grow, your life starts to stagnate feeling like a long trek through the desert.
What to do
It occurs to me that there are three things to do about dry spells in life:
- Prepare for them – A farmer knows that a dry spell can happen, so should you. By anticipating their possibility and being ready you can take away the sting of it’s suddenness.
- Diversify your crops – Farms that put all their eggs in one crop can easily find themselves over a barrel. Every crop is effected by heat and drought, but if you have multiple crops that grow at different times of year you have better odds of at least one crop beating the heat. If your life is diversified you may find that while you have a dry spell in one area, others are still moving just fine, making it easier to endure the drought.
- Remember that seasons change – It is extremely difficult to be philosophical about life when your livelihood is literally wilting before your eyes, but throughout a dry spell you need to remember that the rain will come, the drought will break and life will continue on.
Dry spells suck, they drain you, disappoint you, and bring you to your knees; but eventually, storms can start, the rain will fall, the crops will grow again.