While our city cousins are going ga-ga over the Olymypics on the other side of the world, we stay-at-home farmers are going ga-ga about something else, something a lot nearer to our heart, minds and check books than who can run the fastest or jump the highest.    
Our hearts and minds are set upon the ample rainfall we have received this year.
When have we ever see the grass so green, so high, waving so proudly in our fields? Our ponds and springs and rivers so full, the debris washing over and rotting away.
We know our precious ground water is being replenished, aware that the alfalfa we will seed in the next few weeks and months will develop strong roots before going into the winter.
And it is good.                
I would not wish upon anyone the dry years farmers have had so often. But they do serve a purpose. They serve to remind us that without water, all other activity is doomed. Water is our first, most precious resource. Let us treasure it, guard it, appreciate it.
Water, to most city people, is just a nuisance, something to spoil the golf or ball game, not a necessity for life.
But farm folk are far more knowledgeable than city folk who only want to see the grass in their lawn green.
They hate rain if it disturbs their golf game or fishing trip. But without rain and lots of it, where would we be?
There is an irony about rain in southwest Missouri, especially Springfield. The early settlers found land that was seemingly full of water without end. Fresh water springs burst from every meadow, every forest, flowing in four directions from the central high point.
That was good, so far as it went.        
But they did not allow for a natural fact. That water on the high ground, such as Springfield, did not get there, unless it was in the form of rain. And rainwater must go downhill, or else collect and become a pond or a lake. But most of the water that falls to high ground, such as Springfield or Marshfield and territory in between, will then form lakes or ponds that either dry up or wash away in time. Thus, when industry or residential property uses up all of the water that is on or near the surface, Springfield has to search for water from a lower level.            
We have seen this in evidence the last few years when the rainfall was slow. Springfield City Utilities thought the solution was miles of underground pipeline. That worked well until the water table and pumping level necessary to supply the city became too low to yield sufficient water.
Even when dry weather continued year after year, Springfield’s growth exceeded the supply, pumping began, and the pumps that were brought malfunctioned time after time, and Springfield’s water supply became dangerously low.                
The city was saved only when Mother Nature brought water just in time.        
Thus, Nature is telling Springfield, “Stop growing and cultivating more industry, more people, else you will next be pipe lining water in from the Mississippi.” What will be the cost when you have to pump that water?
My family settled northwest of Springfield 150 years ago. For 100 years we pumped from a well 40 feet deep. Then had to be lowered 70 feet. Surely, my ancestors thought, we will never have to go deeper.
But then my wife and I bought cattle in 1960. I played the “just in case” card, and brought in a drill and went 125 feet deep. And you know what happened 40 years later. We called in the well driller again, and stopped at 450.
What is next?                
Who knows? What is the changing economy, the changing world warming so evident, dwindling ice caps going to do?
Show me a person who can tell me he knows what will happen and I will show you a person who cannot tell you with any accuracy what will happen.        
So let us be grateful that we have received ample rainfall – in many cases far too much – and I will tell you no human knows for certain.            
We are all at the mercy of a higher power. We can only pray for mercy, and take what comes. Without a doubt, we are being punished, either by our own stupidity or by natural selection.        
As for this moment, I am grateful for the rain we have had, pray we do not have such floods as many other places have had, and thank God for the rains we have had this year that make our region look like paradise.


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