The header picture above of a glorious wet drenching monsoon is way overdue for a change. There has been a sustained dry spell and last month apparently turned out to be the dryest February in over 140 years; the usually-green garden city has been more brown and dusty lately:
Naturally, flash forest fires have been breaking out across the island, and I found myself walking past just such a site while on one of my walkabouts in the eastern parts and parks of the island. I smelled it before I could see it; an unfamiliar burnt and dense acrid smell, like a thousand BBQ fires gone horribly wrong. I rounded the bend to see a burnt and blackened area about a quarter-size of a football field, where the worst parts have been burnt down to soot-black; and the remaining still-standing trees were wanly hanging on, grim and ashened, their bare skeletal branches like the strickened hands of a dying man.
Yet in this desolation, there is a certain grim beauty. Its a pity I could not take a picture of the scene; it would have made a good new header pic and byline — Dust and ashes…
Elsewhere in the region, the situation is even more dire, with clergy and the faithful ready to make supplications for divine outpourings:
Filipino bishops pray for rain to break dry spell
MANILA, Philippines – Some bishops in the Philippines are including special prayers for rain this weekend to help break a three-month dry spell that has led to power rationing and crop damage.
The government says the drought has caused agricultural losses of $81 million and has promised support for farmers. Water levels in some dams have dropped to critical levels, and blackouts have been reported in the southern region.
The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Cebu in the central Philippines said Friday it will lead the faithful in saying special prayers during Sunday Mass.
One archbishop, however, thinks seeking divine intervention may be too early. Onesimo Gordoncillo says the drought is seasonal and people should have faith that nature will run its course.
I especially like that last part.
[The strangest thing is, as I am tapping out these words in the early morning hours, those red clouds upon the dark night skies (and pregnant with rain), which have been teasing mercilessly by coming and going for several days now, finally swelled up and delivered. The first real rain in a long while.
Once again, the rambling rainmaker (by feet or by words), in error or in chivalry, wets the day…