When drought hits the lush grasslands of the richly fertile west, they are green no more and the dying is a palpable thing. What happens to verdure and vegetation, to cattle and livestock can be read in the coldly statistical little bulletins freely issued by the Department of Agriculture. What happens to the people of the west – beyond the calculable and terrible phenomena of a sudden poverty and loss of substance – is an incalculable and febrile kind of desperation. Rain will never come again; the earth will be sere forever; and in all of heaven, there is no promise of remedy.
Yet, men of wisdom like H.C. Curry know to be patient with heaven. They know that the earth will not thirst forever; they know one day they will again awaken to a green morning. Young people like Lizzie his daughter, cannot know this as certainly as he does. Bright as she is, she cannot know. She can only count the shooting stars, and hope.
Let us not use the panoramic lenses. Let us focus closely, but through a romantically gauzed lens, on the face of Lizzie’s loneliness, and on her hope. Life can be seen deeply through small lenses. And truthfully even through gauze.
-N. Richard Nash