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The Storm

Approaching Storm

The urbanised, big city radio announcer makes her pronouncement of the weather for the next few days. She is despondent.

“April’s enjoyable weather will be short lived. A storm is approaching and will cover Calgary and the foothills with 4mm of rain, turning to snow in the late evening. We will have to face a weekend of cold and blustery winds, accompanied by rain during the afternoon, turning to snow overnight. The temperature will plummet to minus 5 (centigrade). I imagine lots of outdoor activities will have to be cancelled, so be sure you double check if you have anything planned. We will get 5-10cm of snow overnight, so the driving might be hazardous around town. Let’s hope this is short lived.”

I select another station, looking for music and something to take my mind off of the terrible misfortune (according to the weather reporter) that we will have to endure for the next two days. I’m driving in the country on my own and, after finding music to listen to that I like, I look off to my left over the grassless, ploughed fields, that are ready to be seeded. My thinking drifts from the urbanite despondency of not being able to sit outside in my shirtsleeves to another part of the west. I quickly feel better. It might be that in Rosetown, Saskatchewan, over the airwaves comes the voice of the rural radio announcer with her report of the same storm. She is upbeat.

“Thankfully, over the next few days, we will be treated to wet weather. I know lots of you have been praying for more moisture this Spring. Let’s hope the storm lasts long enough to give us a deep watering. This dry, sunny April hasn’t been what we’ve needed. The storm will start around noon today, giving us around 4mm of rain before turning to a blanket of that wet snow we all like to see at this time of year. Some areas may receive up to 10cm of snow over the evening, but most will get at least 5cm. Let’s hope there is enough to fill up some of those dugouts on your land.”

I’m not sure when this urbanite changed from a person of the land to one of the office block. I think the transition has been slow—maybe decades in time.

It’s true, the spring storms of today aren’t like those storms in the 1960’s. Surface moisture and deep moisture on the land is perfect, but flooding isn’t. That isn’t good for urbanite nor rural farmer or rancher. The rains and wet snows need to be spread out over April and May, but more moisture on the land is required these days.

The extreme dryness in the Spring is a bane in our lives. That results in the fires that make our smoke-filled air in July and August almost impossible to live in. I’ll take the Spring storms and the ensuing wetness, by rain or snow, as a good thing. For good measure, I’ll tune in the small town, rural, radio stations for tolerable, insightful weather reports whenever I am confronted by the doom and gloom reports from the big city stations.



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