A few years ago, I wrote about April showers as a time for inspiration and poetry. I even posted a reminder on face book this year to look up some favorite poets. But sadly spring rains are now also a reminder of climate change. In my case, it is ground water that has risen faster this year than in the past because of a mild winter that produced regular rain storms, not snow, as soon as February.
I remember growing up in northeast Detroit and heeding tornado sirens that warned us on occasion to wait for the all clear in the basement cellar; luckily the storms always moved past the city – and I never remember running to the cellar during a rainstorm. Now almost any spring storm sends me to the basement to check water levels around my sump pump. I realize that I remain lucky compared to the millions in the direct path of tornadoes across the Midwest and south. Still I miss the youthful innocence that loved the idea of spring showers and never felt threatened.
I watched Bill Nye, the Science Guy, appear on national television during Earth Day coverage this year to show us how global warming is really, really seriously damaging our oceans and lakes and threatening our future even beyond destructive storms. I believe him and worry that our legislators don’t seem to believe in science. Oh, for the days of Gene Kelly, dancing through the streets in a rainstorm, rejoicing in the downpour! Still, I continue to love spring poems and even believe it’s not too late to reduce climate change!