“…The first thing I met was a fly with a buzz and the sky with no clouds. The heat was hot and the ground was dry, but the air was full of sound. I’ve been through the desert on a horse with no name. It felt good to be out of the rain…” – A Horse With No Name – Recorded and released by: America (1972) Composer: Dewey Bunnell
Not so fast about feeling good to be out of the rain. Although far from the desert, here in the Dallas/Ft Worth metroplex, we only got a total of a quarter of an inch of rain for the entire month of July. It has been a brutal month. In fact, we had 21 days of 100+ temperatures, 10 of those days consecutively. Most of July hovered around 101-106 degrees. We reached 109 degrees at our house at one point last week. My dad, in West Texas (where the photo above was taken), reported 111 degrees at his place. When it’s that dry and hot, everything suffers and the spiral begins.
Our neighbors left for a long trip to Florida early in the month. They had friends periodically come over to care for their dogs and a chicken coop they set up in their backyard. However, much of their plants and grass lost the heat battle.
When they returned home yesterday, they mentioned one chicken was found dead. They also discovered a crack in their driveway measuring 10″ deep. Even though we water our landscape vigorously, it really just wasn’t enough. The cracks in the ground are big enough to get your foot caught.
Down our street, about five houses to the east of us, stands an old grandfather-type tree. I walk by it often. The age of it is unknown to me, but it certainly is older than the actual neighborhood. A few days ago, one of its giant limbs, that reaches over and across the street, which is massive enough to be a tree itself, partially broke off from the trunk. The colossal limb totally blocked the street. Deep into the night city crews with chain saws had their tussle slicing it up dragging its branches to the curbs for about half a block or so on both sides of the street.
The tree itself remains standing, but I’m a bit nervous about it’s lack of hydration.
This week we enjoyed a break in the excessive heat, only in the upper 90s now. However, we are way behind on summer rainfall. It’s amazing what a month of dry, scorching sun can do to us all.
Meanwhile, my 7 year old granddaughter, Skylar, came over to spend part of the sweltering weekend with us. Even though the soil has separated from the tree trunk by about 3″, I am so grateful our stout pecan tree remains somewhat healthy. She loves the backyard tree swing. We had a terrific time.
Droughts come and go. We’ve certainly had our share through the years. I’m sure August will be a tad more kind to our neck of the woods. Yet, there is also another drought that can bring down the very soul and spirit of a person.
Skylar is highly intelligent, sometimes to a vice, as well as loving and kind. I love being with her. Because she misses lots of spiritual teaching, I always do what I can to nurture her in that area on the rare occasion she gets to spend the weekend. Not a time of babysitting has gone by when I don’t bring up my faith and why I rest in it. Usually, if time permits, I take her to church, read Bible stories and introduce her to the biblical characters I learned about when I was her age. Sometimes she even pays attention. When I gave her a nativity set for Christmas a couple of years ago, she asked why there was a dinosaur in the manger scene. Shrugging, I told her that Jesus must’ve loved dinosaurs. When I asked her to show it to me, she pointed to one of the wise men’s camels. (Well, sure. Why not. It has a long neck and odd face.)
The truth is, my branch of the family needs watering. In some cases, grafting. If raised without a solid teaching of the faith from the parents and grandparents, it can be like an oak growing without water, striving in the Texas July sun. There are nutrients in the scriptures that can bring a life that flourishes, bringing guidance and strength in the times of dryness. Without these truths, we attempt to stand on our own when the seasons of drought overtake us. At other times, we’re just off and away to Florida. Our roots can grow in shallow sands.
I try not to worry about my granddaughter’s spiritual health. For now, I will lean on one of my favorite phrases written many times through the passages…”BUT GOD…” I love it when a sentence is launched with those words.
Sometimes you can’t outrun a heatwave, but you can endure it with fuel for the race.
“For he (The person who trusts in God.) will be like a tree planted by the waters, that extends its roots by a stream and will not fear when the heat comes; But its leaves will be green, and it will not be anxious in a year of drought, nor cease to yield fruit.” – Jeremiah 17:8 (NASB)