This summer’s unrelenting heat means our yards dry a little more each day. I noticed today that several of the bushes out back have dead branches. Nature protects the core, and the peripheral appendages begin to wither. My heart breaks to see this loss.
Loss goes deeper this summer than wilting gardens. I’ve several friends struggling with serious health issues like cancer. I admire the strength they exhibit as they face each day with unbelievable optimism. They face the new challenges life’s handed them with the unshakable conviction that every thought and effort will bring health back into their lives. For other friends, this summer’s trials come from aging parents needing live-in help, assisted living or nursing home care. Some friends will decide to move in with parents while others will move parents in with them.
For the generation of our children, we see job opportunities drying up overnight. Imagine spending four years in college, taking out loans to finance this education, and not landing a job up to five or six months later. These adult children find themselves moving back in with their parents as they regroup. Some hold tenaciously to their college part-time jobs because “something is better than nothing.” Those still in school wonder and worry about next year’s opportunities. How long will this economic drought last? Onto this brittle landscape, I watch in frustration as our petty politicians play with matches.
I know that we need rain. Not a flooding deluge that obliterates everything in its path, but a soft and steady rain—one that brings the sunrise in its wake, one that soaks deeply into the cracked ground, one that cleanses away the dust and cobwebs, one that heals our land.
Copyright 2011 Elizabeth Abrams Chapman