When a cloud comes up, we always think of rain and dread storms. We have had several storm clouds lately, but not much rain. It reminds me of the dry spring out on the farm. At one time the spring fed some wild rose bushes out in the east pasture. The grass was always green around the area, but the ground was never wet. A small hackberry tree grew near the spring.
I call it a spring, yet I never saw water flow from it. It had been dry all the days of my memory. But Granddad wanted water out in that field and tried to get a water well dug where the spring had been. I don’t remember if he and dad tried to drop auger the hole or if granddad just dug down, but I can almost bet Dad tried to drop auger it for him. They dug several holes one year in various places on those 160 acres. It was pretty disappointing. The locations looked so promising, and the water was so desperately needed.
Now any rancher or farmer will tell you that water is a necessity for livestock and crops. Nothing grows without water. And many an old farmer or rancher has gone to great lengths to provide that needed commodity for his little enterprise. Lyndon Johnson said the best fertilizer a man could put on his land was the imprint of his boots, but he still needs water. Several conservation reservoirs had their beginnings under his instigation. The man knew that the land would be here long after politicians went to glory in a sand bag. And the land would always need water.
This nation holds a promise of growth and new beginnings; it has right from the start. Sometimes things have looked like that dry spring out on the farm—not fulfilling the promise or the need. But overall, we have always had what it takes to grow and become strong. It’s important that we realize that it is not money that makes this nation grow. Yes, the economy of the nation is a reflection of some of its parts, and right now that reflection is pretty doggone muddy. But the spirit of America from the start has been an individualism and self-reliance that almost flabbergasts the rest of the world. We take on personal responsibility and even reach down to lend a helping hand as it is needed. Sometimes the hand is given to a single individual, and sometimes it is given to an entire nation or continent as it was after WWI and WWII.
But one of the neatest things found in America is the ingenuity of its people. Today we passed several old homes that had been allowed to go vacant in Clay County. New homes come with mortgages, credit, and high expectations. Old homes come with complications. How long it will take for someone to put families in those homes is not as important as the fact that it WILL happen eventually. Unless they burn to the ground or blow away, those old homes are just as valuable as one of the newer ones. It just takes some fertilizer—the hands of the owners on its walls and floors—to make it grow. The water—the spirit of free enterprise—is already available. Maybe we will get to watch those homes blossom again soon.