Drought in the Furrows
Furrows of plowed field stretch out before me. Warm air falls down into a cool breeze, on it the richness of cold water flowing down from Conway’s hills. A musk not soon forgotten.
Clouds of dust explode into the night, kicked from furrowed mounds by the wind. Into these grooves, each 35 inches apart, sweet corn seeds will soon be dropped two weeks after spring’s last frost, planted in safe wombs; covered by an inch of soil.
They won’t see their sun until young shoots reach instinctively upward; first crawling, then exploding into rigid stalks split by rough leaves, heavy with golden kernels wrapped in angels hair.
The earth here is fertile. Laid like Solomon’s carpet under a full moon, its pale light stamps gentle shadows on rustling grass, strong, which overflows its banks. It creeps onto the field’s edge as far as my eyes can see.
I stoop, pick up a handful of dirt. It’s dry, falling through my fingers into nothing, drifting into drought struck dust.
Chalky residue is left on my palms, left hanging in the air. Rubbed together hands become sticky. Ahead, a grooved road curves into a grove of dark trees. Grass runs down the middle. A landing strip of green birthed by tractors, their monstrous wheels creeping, spewing great clouds of black smoke.
“Land that drinks in the rain often falling on it and that produces a crop useful to those for whom it is farmed receives the blessing of God” (Heb. 6:7).
But there hasn’t been any rain this year. It’s not blessed. Another, “May God give you of heaven’s dew and of earth’s richness –- an abundance of grain and new wine” (Gen. 27:28). More appropriate. This land thirsts for life; thirsts like I thirst for God.
My Creator is somewhere in this night; perhaps driving down Interstate 91, which streaks past on the other side of the next field. But its noise can’t be heard here. Only silence.
I seek but don’t find, yet, boots stamping my image into His dust. Dust that can’t birth life. This soul thirsts as the ground thirsts; ready for a monsoon that any second could soak it through with mercy.
Above, a broken tree watches my journey. Its roots unblinking, stiff trunk bent under the weight of a hundred years: bowed to the glory of the moment. Fleeing to it flattened grass runs, reaching up in vain. There is no escape from the dead earth.
Exuding my own expanse, millions of stars sing praise at this dry desolation in a resounding chorus of crickets born to reflect in puddles.
On I walk down the landing strip road, into the pregnant musk. Stamp; stamp; stamp.
Amidst the trees it suddenly becomes colder. Wind whistles quietly, shaking every black branch. The moon is barely perceptible through the canopy that interlaces its hands around me, ripe with sickly buds. Paleness has become dark.
Between trunks, the field behind me lies: waiting for dew, and to birth sweet heavenly corn.