A hot and dry Summer

I think no one can deny that it is summer in Germany. The sun is out at full force and one can barely hide… Its just as hot in the shade.

The usual rain with the thunderstorms to cool things down have been shying away and the theories of the impact of the greenhouse gasses have been rampant. In typical German fashion suddenly the world is going to end and its all our fault… it’s a “hot” discussion topic so to say! 😂 As if one needed any more reasons to reduce waste or one’s carbon footprint on earth.

I can imagine how my beloved Cape Town felt while the dry earth yearned towards a drop of water. I have seen some of the most beautiful pictures of flowers that have been sprouting after the last weeks of winter rains.

Beautiful flowers sprouting after the winter rains in the Cape

The reaction of mother nature here to the exceptional heat is fascinating, it makes me realise in what a wondrous world we really live in. I am not talking about the terribleness of a drought, but the ability of mother nature to deal with these situations and as humans we stand next to her magnificence and our own light dims.

So in Germany it has been very dry and hot for most of July with some unusually hot periods in June and May and barely a drop of rain. I have even started leaving my umbrella at home. Something I have not been able to do in the last 2 years in summer. Usually Summer is hot but it comes and goes and somewhere along the way it rains with a couple of thunderstorms here and there that make me think of the Thunderstorms in South Africa. This year nothing and the thermometer continued to climb to hover between 35 and 40 degrees. 🙂 Working in a modern glass building office with no air conditioning, 30+ degrees means that you literally end up sticking to your desk in your own pool of sweat… but I digress…

Before 1st of August came around I noticed something strange, everything seemed to have physically dried out, trees and forests started throwing off leaves and not the gradual transition of red / yellow an brown when its autumn, but straight off just dry and gone. The first time I really noticed this was when a gust of wind blew through the area and it was just dry leaves flying all over. Usually Summer is green, exceptionally green with an intensity that almost hurts ones eyes, especially if you come from Cape Town where the summer is dry. This is different, the grass is dried out, trees are throwing off their leaves and the greenness have disappeared. Plants are saving their energy to conserve water to ensure that they survive long term. I mean I am used to certain trees being green in Cape Town during the dry summers, but I never thought that trees would actually do that! How amazing!?

Picture taken end of July… looks like beginning Autumn and its still a whole month to go…

Another curious thing started happening and it is the fish populations dying out, in mass dead fish are being picked up. Some regions have gone so far as to catch fish before the temperature rises and move them to other, cooler areas. Apparently with the heat rising the water temperature of the rivers and dams also rises, this causes the oxygen content to fall and the fish to die. Especially as these are cold water fish, they prefer a certain temperature well below 27° C.

So for a child of Africa this was all quite interesting, I am used to being surrounded by dry air, savanna style planes with unreliable rain seasons. It is normal for me to experience farmers complaining about the lack of rain or price hikes on food when the next drought comes by. Droughts are a “normal” phenomenon in South Africa and Namibia and every year I got to experience first hand how mother nature explodes in colour and green after the first bout of rain.

One thing we as humans can only marvel at is how mother nature is able to deal with challenges – I personally think that we give ourselves way too much credit in terms of our power over everything. Have you ever visited an area deserted by humans? Have you ever seen the power of one little plant that fights it’s way through concrete? It might take a couple of seasons but one summer there is a crack in the concrete…

Dandelions flourishing out of a crack in the pavement…

At the end mother earth does not need us, it does not need the thousands of mouths it is feeding or feet stomping on its fragile flowers.

Ooh but how do we need the earth, how we need our home to give us Oxygen every day, to provide us with fuel to warm a fire, or food to fill our tummy’s.

Don’t get me wrong, I strongly believe in reducing our carbon footprint and that we must do every single thing possible to ensure that we still have a planet left for our children, but we should not underestimate the ability of mother nature and God to recover the damage we are causing. And that mother earth just needs a chance, a chance only we can give if we treat her with respect.

As I am finishing off this post, the first time in weeks it has cooled down… The wonder of water falling from the Sky is endless! We all have time for gratitude, with a pause.

Sooner or later, we will have to recognise that the Earth has rights, too, to live without pollution. What mankind must know is that human beings cannot live without Mother Earth, but the planet can live without humans ~ Evo Morales