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Living Lightly column

A love letter to my rain gauge

By Jonathon Howard

We’ve been seeing a lot of each other recently and we need to think about taking the next step.

I know, my visits have been sporadic, but I want you know you are always on your mind. As I mow the lawn I see you there by the fence post. I know our last four winters have been particularly cold and dry and our last summer extremely hot. So at times, you may feel I am a stranger, but it’s only because I don’t feel it is right to visit when there is nothing to talk about.

However without our interactions, my life is dull. When we get together, you put a smile on my face. Indeed when you tell me something my entire garden seems to flourish and flowers seem to bloom.

So I feel a need to take the next step. I want to shout about it. I want to tell the world about us. But it is not because it is about us, I am afraid of what the next few months, years, and decades will hold.

You see the Bureau of Meteorology’s weather outlook suggests that we have to live with extremes. The indications for this year are that we face increased risk of flooding in summer and it won’t just be a wet year for us locally, but across the whole of eastern of Australia.

I am also worried about recent events. Indeed I feel heartbroken for those in our community who have lost houses, enterprises, and ability to connect with their family. We need a solution, so instead of creating more barriers, I think it is time we connect.

I know it may seem a wild idea, but let’s take the next step in our relationship. Let’s tell everyone of our interactions. Not just on social media, but on the radio, and in print in the Border Mail.

Our little relationship can be part of the bigger picture. If we share records of rainfall with the wider community, it might help the more vulnerable prepare for hotter summers, and others manage the future extremes in rainfall and fire hazard that are expected.

It’s a chance to build a community of weather monitors that celebrates, and is better prepared for, the good times and the bad times despite the challenges ahead.