This Dusty Earth: Witchcraft in the City

A blog about mental health, magic, and the cycles of nature in parched Los Angeles.

  • Home
    Home This is where you can find all the blog posts throughout the site.
  • Tags
    Tags Displays a list of tags that have been used in the blog.
  • Bloggers
    Bloggers Search for your favorite blogger from this site.
  • Login
    Login Login form

A Bittersweet Ostara: California's Dwindling Water Supply

Everywhere, Spring is being celebrated. I feel it, too: the warm air on my arms (hey, sweater season gets annoying!), the heavenly scent of jasmine, the first buds on the jacarandas. But underneath it I feel a sense of dread. Here in Los Angeles, rainy season is over.

Last month I got a price quote from a vegetable gardening service, hoping to finally get my garden in shape. But it's been weeks and I can't bring myself to pull the trigger. What if the guy comes out and the next day, restrictions go into place? Even if they don't (and our lackadaisical municipal governments aren't making any move to ration), can I really justify expanding my garden when water is so scarce? Everyone knows lawns are bad, but are tomatoes okay?

This isn't really about my garden, though. This is about a disaster that is unfolding as we speak, a catastrophe that affects almost 39 million people and countless other species. What if this really is a mega-drought, like they say? What will California look like in 10 years?

b2ap3_thumbnail_California_Drought_Dry_Riverbed_2009.jpgThe rainy season wasn't a cure for the drought, but I did notice that people didn't talk about the water shortage as much during the few storms we got. I know that silence is irresponsible, but I understand it. Whenever it rained on my garden, whenever I went outside and caught drops on my tongue, whenever I took my daughter out to play in a drizzle, I was able to briefly forget about the drought. I didn't have to turn on my hose and chew my nails with guilt. I was able to gratefully accept the precious gift of sweet, fresh water.

As things get worse, I find myself indulging in bizarre moments of doublethink. Even as I search the job listings in other states and make apocalyptic plans to flee, I hope that housing prices here in LA will drop and I'll finally be able to buy. Isn't that strange? Why would I buy a house in a drought-ravaged land? Well, maybe they'll figure out how to fix it, I think. Yes, "they," those mysterious saviors.

But it's a moot point anyway, because housing prices are still skyrocketing. The rich are still flocking here. Maybe they know something we don't. Maybe they'll survive by leeching the life from the rest of us.

What are we going to do?

* * *

In my garden and in the little nature area I visit on the campus where I work, I take note of all the annuals that grow up, go to seed, and disappear. When the new ones arrive, I smile and touch their leaves. "I knew your parents," I whisper. "They were beautiful, just like you."

Today, on this Ostara, I think of all our descendants and hope for a rich, fertile future.


Image credit National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Last modified on
Asa is a sliding-scale tarot reader, intuitive, and witch blending pellar craft with animism and earth-based Judaism. Instagram: @theRedTailWitch


  • Anne Newkirk Niven
    Anne Newkirk Niven Friday, 20 March 2015

    I think you'll probably be doing this...

    Plus solar-powered desalination plants, most likely, for the cities. However, farming (except dry land crops like olives, look to Greece and Spain for other examples) will move north to Oregon. We don't have snow in our (Oregon and Washington) mountains anymore, but I'm sure we can recharge our acquifers with our newly-warm but still abundant rainfall, and plans to do so are already starting to unfold.

  • Please login first in order for you to submit comments

Additional information