As I write this October letter in August I do wonder what the weather will be like two months hence! Hopefully there has been the rain that is needed – even though it has come at the wrong time.
Now is a time to continue praying for our farmers and all who are involved with the production of our food. Never an easy business and subject not only to severe weather conditions but also to being a political issue, we can only hope for better times. We hope for wise decisions to be made and help, support and real understanding to be offered and received.
Whilst on holiday in Israel in July it was very interesting to see a country where the rainfall is considerably less than ours and how water is conserved and used in a very different climate. There the climate varies from Mediterranean to temperate to desert. Here we lose too much of our water through leakage which only becomes newsworthy during a drought. In Israel water and its conservation is very high on the list of priorities.
It makes me wonder how we view something that we usually have an over-abundance of. We find it difficult to adjust to the sudden change – from too much on the land, to not enough for the harvest – the joys of living in a country where the rainfall can be a bit unpredictable, to say the least!
During our holiday we visited the Dead Sea area and had a float on the sea when the temperature that day was 42oC – not very refreshing! We visited Masada – a rebel stronghold that had been built by Herod the Great as a kind of personal spa, with vast cisterns to store water meaning the rebels were able to live in the searing heat for 3 years before their eventual defeat. We also visited Ein Gedi – springs in the desert and a few people plunged their hot heads under the falling water and paddled in the pool to cool off.
It was really interesting to see the ways that a country with such a different climate copes with a lack of water. Desalination plant is used particularly for watering crops but that has to be set against the fact that the Dead Sea is shrinking. It’s not easy to balance things.
We might need to make some changes here – particularly if we continue to have a famine and feast of rain – there are sceptics around of course but having the means to conserve water has to be a good thing. Let us hope that all who have suffered during this difficult time will be able to continue working the land. We thank God for the harvest we have had and pray for hope for the future.
Revd Gerri Tetzlaff