Here in Kansas City, where we have clay soil, foundations are shifting and cracking all over the metro area. Our antique water and sewer lines are suffering as well, breaking when the soil where they are laid dries out and contracts.
And of course trees are stressed and plants are dying and brown and crackly is the color du jour for yards. Everyone is hoping for rain.
When K's and my youngest was ten or so, we had a hot, dry rainless summer, something like this one. We all prayed for rain and watched our gardens die as the water bills ratcheted higher.
B had recently gotten a book of magic spells, which pleased him greatly, and which, after some perusal, brought him running to us, all excited.
B (jumping and waving the book of spells around): There's a spell in here to make it rain! I'm gonna do it!
K and me (figuring that he was old enough to deal with the disappointment that would inevitably ensue when the "spell" didn't work): Do you have to do anything dangerous?
B (jumping around some more): No! All you need is some charcoal and a green plant! Like a fern! But it can be any green plant! It doesn't have to be a fern! And some…(here the ingredient list becomes unintelligible because he's talking faster than his tongue can actually move and doing some more jumping around).
Us: Okay then.
So B assumes his best wizard mien and gathers the necessary ingredients for the magical spell to make it rain. We put the charcoal in the Weber grill (since we are inexplicably unsupplied with a brazier), and B lights the charcoal and commences the spell. There are burnings and chantings and then it's over, more quickly than I expected. We all look at each other, and then up at the sky. Which remains cloudless.
K and me: All righty, then. Who wants hamburgers?!
That evening, it rained. It was the only rain we had that summer.
I think it might be time for B to get back into the rain spell business.