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The water in the limestone-bottomed creek is emerald green today. It’s clear and flowing pretty well, given that we have not had rain in a couple of months. Today rain is in the forecast, not wimpy drizzles, but the great big thunderous rain that accompanies a cold front. I am breathless with anticipation, and have posted this as a Before picture. Maybe there will be rushing water in my After picture. I hope so.

The creatures fare pretty well in dry weather as long as the creek holds up. The trees do too, since their roots grow down deep. What really suffer in drought are the tiny plants on the surface, the small species that make up a meadow. Right now they are withered and crunchy, but they are not dead. With even a little rain they will perk up overnight, and the meadows will be green again.

Hardy plants go dormant when the going gets tough. They do less, spending no energy making flowers or putting out new growth. They pare back activity to the minimal, which is how they stay alive from one rain shower to another in a dry climate like ours.

Your life as a caregiver is not exactly a greenhouse, where the conditions are tuned just right for you to flourish. You are like a plant living in a place where the temperature and rainfall and soil pH are barely within your tolerance zones.

To boost your chances of surviving to the next rainfall even if you don’t have deep roots, consider dormancy as a strategy. You can’t use it all the time or you won’t get fed, but every once in a while when things are really tough, curl your leaves to preserve what little moisture you have, let your vibrant color fade, and go small and still. Rest awhile, getting nothing accomplished, to tide you over until the clouds come and you hear the rumble of thunder.

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