This morning, I woke to a fine and cool day in Oklahoma after yesterday’s return of the heat wave. I stretched my arms above my head as I sat in bed and told my husband, “Today I will garden.”
“It’s about time. Have fun. We’ll watch the OU game tomorrow and perhaps catch a local car show this weekend if you feel like it.”
As he spoke, my arms came down, and I felt a small, cold knot in the center of my being.
“I am afraid.”
At one time, I would have brushed aside this little voice and soldiered on without listening. But, today was different. I lowered my chin toward my belly button where the small voice repeated, “I am afraid.”
I closed my eyes, took in a deep breath and listened. “Of what?” I asked.
Insistent and fast thoughts tumbled over me.
“The grass, Johnson grass and another nasty bad one, are taking over the bed facing the street.
“Bermuda stretches throughout the soil choking off the plants.
“Some weed I can’t even identify is . . . oh, woe is me.”
I took another deep breath and let it out very slowly. Counted: one . . . two, three, four, five, six and seven.
Then, for inspiration, I went out and really looked at the garden yesterday, taking photos and pulling weedy grasses with both of my gloved hands.
“I’ve seen the long-term drought maps,” my inner child whispered, “I’m not sure I can go through another summer like this only to end up with more weeds and fewer flowers.”
Like a loving mother, I told my inner child the drought may come, the weeds may grow, but we’re in this together.
I feel the same way about you, my friends, who live in the central south, especially Texas and Oklahoma. We are in this together, and we will weather this storm because we are strong just like our German and Irish ancestors and the American Indians who came before us. I have your hand in mine. Let’s go out there and rediscover our love for our land.