Getting Water into the Ground

Not long ago, New River (Arizona) got hit with a horrible Monsoon storm. The area got five inches of rain in six hours. Five inches of rain is 40 percent of the desert’s annual rainfall.

rainOur ground is so baked by the sun, that a hard rain cannot be absorbed. The water rolls off the ground, downhill. Our landscape is crisscrossed with arroyos–dry river beds–and they fill up quickly, often racing across roadways.

On my way to a teaching assignment, the intersection that I normally use to get on the freeway was flooded. A car was submerged up to the driver’s window. The woman was being winched to safety by a police officer and a tow truck driver.

When I know rain that hard is bearing down on us, I go out and water the xeriscaping (gravel). Watering the front and back helps soften the hardpack and it absorbs water better. I get less gravel sluicing down the road that way.

Nature has a way of showing me lessons. I finally figured out that those idea

Jake Bacon, for the Arizona Sun:

Jake Bacon, for the Arizona Sun:

storms I get, where a whole bunch of ideas show up at the same time, often too many to sort and write down, aren’t that much different. A regular practice of creative work–writing, drawing, painting, dancing, singing–keeps you ready to absorb a sudden rush of ideas that come pouring down on you.

A regular creative practice keeps your mind ready to handle bigger creative experiments and explorations. Makes you less fearful, more nimble and a bit more ready to believe in your capacity to handle the big, powerful moments in your life. So, keep your dry imagination watered and your creative projects in use. You never know when the Monsoon of all ideas will arrive.

-Quinn McDonald is a writer with a creative life. It’s not always the one she planned, though.

8 thoughts on “Getting Water into the Ground

  1. I love that analogy of dry ground being overwhelmed by too much rain and not being able to absorb it all, and a flood of ideas being too much for the creative mind, if you have allowed a period of drought when you don’t create…
    It’s true; those ideas and inspirations DO come and you don’t know where to begin. Sometimes you do nothing with them and they swirl around and then eventually evaporate.
    A certain amount of self-discipline is needed; write something–a haiku, a small stone, add something to a collage…whatever you can manage to do!
    At the very least, grab a pen and paper and catch those ideas! A notebook of ideas is much like a rain barrel.

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