The drought began in North Texas in earnest in 2011,
and it continued…and continued. The dirt cracked, houses cracked, hearts cracked. Trees died, wildlife died, love and friendships right along with them. The economy, like building foundations, shifted. People bought rain barrels and soaker hoses, put up signs that read “Pray for Rain.” When they weren’t writing letters to the editor on the legislatures fight against freedom of choice issues, they were writing to admonish local officials for their inability to create water from the air. The wind blew, hot dry furnace air, the air hung heavy with dust. Birds jumped on their pitiful, skinny little legs, their mouths hanging open from lack of water. Squirrels starved and coyotes moved inside the city limits. Racoons met people on their back porches and deer flung themselves into cars on full-suicide missions. The grasshoppers came out and ate trees and anything else green…. to the bark. Pipes burst under the pressure of the dry, brittle soil. Plants that used to live, didn’t anymore. It was during such time that families split apart, kids withdrew from parents and turned to more destructive habits, and perception was redefined. A general feeling of hopelessness settled over the community. It was during the last summer of this drought, in that same desolate spirit, that I came to understand the true meaning of T.S. Eliot’s ‘The Wasteland.’ In this situation, I could readily see the demise of the 21st century and feel the horrible, hollow emptiness in my heart. I wanted desperately to leave, but there was nowhere to go, I ran into time warps of myself in various past years, on these same streets. I tried to pull hope from wherever I might find it. During drought survival and confronting ghosts of Whispering Falls, I made some discoveries. There is no magic fix for what ails any of us, there are hard choices in life, and avenues we don’t want to take. Every now and then, its good to step back, gain perspective, and re-plot your goals, and, oh yes, cast away falsity, false friends, false dreams….