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Report From PIA – June 9

Does a little knowledge lead to dissatisfaction?  Could the desire for perfection escort us toward greed? Are we better off assuming all is well, or is it preferable to be informed but discontented?

I’m a bit obsessed with rain, you see. I know that all that’s needed to keep gardens growing is an inch of rain a week, preferably delivered over a 24-hour period. We seldom achieve this ideal, however, and for better or worse, my rain gauge tells me precisely how much we are lacking.

Some years ago, during a local drought, I remember a psychic commenting that, “If you were the Goddess of Rain, how often would you come around if everyone badmouthed a rainy weekend?”

It’s true that in general, the television news anchors treat rain as the enemy. “It’s looking like a fantastic weekend!” they chirp, as the graphics show sunny, blue skies even as the ground is cracking from weeks of drought.

Ever since I heard that psychic, in a dry period I’ve mentally invited the Goddess of Rain to please come and stay.

As a gardener I want that ideal inch a week. But truthfully, I wonder if my tension about not enough rain is any different from those who complain about a cloudy, damp weekend. Could it be that dissatisfaction with the weather is the exact same unhappiness from two different perspectives?

Maybe the Goddess of Rain would be thrilled to know that we rejoice when she arrives, period. Should she bring a sprinkling or a two-inch downpour, we will be appreciative and grateful.

Reminder to self: Notice how often it might be better to appreciate what is, and let the rest go.

One of the most important tools for the gardener, I often say, is a rain gauge. If you've gotten an inch of rain or more, you know that you don't have to water established plants for another week. (New plants more often, yes.) But if you haven't gotten an inch, perhaps it's better to just supplement what's received and go on, instead of being dissatisfied with what rain has arrived...

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