I have to admit, since the drought of 2002 and the extremely dry cycle that ensued for our little part of the world, I have been guilty of rain envy. While I was happy for my friends in other parts of the world who were getting rain, I was jealous and just a little bitter.
Mother Nature has turned the tables the last 30 days and now it’s my turn to spread a little rain envy. Since April 15, we have been blessed with more than 8 inches of precipitation. And the best part is almost all of it came so that it went straight into the ground.
For perspective, we endured several years over the last decade where we didn’t approach that much precipitation for a yearly total. When it warms up, we are going to look like Ireland. I’ve fired up the brush hog once this spring already, and by the time it dries out, it will be needed again. Two years ago, I mowed once and that was mainly to see if the brush hog was still working.
All of this moisture is a blessing, but it has brought on a new feeling – rain guilt. Anyone who has endured extended drought has said that they will never complain about moisture, and those first rains elicited feelings of elation. But as the embarrassment of riches has continued, I’ve begun experiencing a new feeling – rain guilt. It is like winning the lottery, but not having the option of sharing some of that undeserved wealth with family or friends.
I’ve stopped telling people the latest rainfall amounts; in fact, I avoid the total precipitation discussion altogether. During the drought, I took solace in the verse that says it rains on the just and unjust alike, but it does little to assuage the guilt when you are the beneficiary of good fortune you have done nothing to bring about. I’ve always lived in country where a 2-inch rain means the rain drops were 2 inches apart. However, one thing that has helped me from becoming completely overcome by rain guilt is the new appreciation I now have for those who deal with mud all the time.
Sitting atop a good horse, green grass everywhere, calves healthy and prices high, I was almost thankful yesterday when that old snaky cow turned back at the gate and took a few cows with her. It reminded me that all was still right in the universe. Now I understand the saying that a cowboy can always handle adversity; it is prosperity that gives him pause.
The opinions of Troy Marshall are not necessarily those of beefmagazine.com and the Penton Agriculture Group.
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