Expanding Views


(Written July 23, 2018)

The air outside this vehicle service center I’m in today is still hot, but nothing compared to the last week that has left the weaker trees back home turning brown and the water in the ponds a foot or more further down. The cattle prefer the shade of trees in the bottomland during days like these, near water.

I’ve seen more deer running across the fields than I’ve ever seen in this kind of heat. Buzzards stand atop cell tower antennas and stare at the hillsides of browning grass, invoking odd emotions in passers by.

Despite the heat, children play outside church on Sundays, and some people still sit on their front porches during the mid-morning hours. There are times where everywhere I go it seems people are happy some days, sad others, and asleep at the wheel more often than I’d like to see. Robotic salutations are common with the occasional honest, “How are you?”, stretching beyond a kind of standardized norm.

Some laugh as though nothing’s wrong while the day passes by; others look as depressed or saddened by the times as can be. Some speak a kind of truth impossible to speak if you haven’t been there before, kind of like some of the words in songs I’m listening to right now. But who knows, it’s probably all simply the way I’m hearing and seeing things right now, not the way others are seeing or hearing them; thankfully.


(Written July 24, 2018)

A day has passed since this post was started. The leaves on more trees are browning. A drive down to the Red River last evening revealed plenty of fields still full of lush, thick grass. The land is lower there.

On July 22nd, 2018 at 4:53 pm, the weather station display read 114.6 degrees Fahrenheit here on the place (according to the local server). This morning the low on the display read 68 degrees. Even a meteorologist commented on the oddness of it all this evening.

Sometimes I think about the history of weather data here, and then about those ice cores from the planet’s poles. The climatological data from them reminds me of just what a short sample of time we live within. What it must have been like to have known ice a mile thick on parts of the North American continent that left those puddles behind that we call the Great Lakes. (At least that was what I was taught in college.)

What a blessing to have been born in a time when our environment has been more balanced in our favor here in North America. A blessing indeed.

Let’s hope we don’t get so used to such a balance that we end up seeing the present as if it has always been a standardized norm.