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Rain Dance

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Landscape as lush as Portland's means rain - apocalyptic deluges which turn the roads to chalky rivers. But recently, the sun has shone undampened, and so our tank ran dry.

We can buy bottled water, gritting our teeth as we trash the (locally unrecyclable) plastic - but enough to wash the dishes and the filthy children? Yesterday we were down to a bucketful of rain. Boiled clean(ish), it did for washing up, then washing our feet, then flushing the loo.

This lack, already normal to so many, may soon become everyone's reality. So this forewarning feels like a blessed education. We flush away an insignificant wee with10 clean liters; tip the pasta water down the drain; water the garden from the tap. We can't be blamed for ingrained behaviours, but we can try to change them.

Now, as the rain thunders down with beautiful intensity, I gratefully boil potatoes and bath the boys and, tonight at least, I'll try to reuse every drop.

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