I am just sitting here listening to the wind blow. It is blowing because it is spring and because it is south central Montana. That is just what it does here. We have not had any beneficial precipitation in this county since ……………… I can’t remember. Some time in early 2012 if my memory serves me.
I just know, I am dusty. My car is dusty inside and out the house is dusty, there is a fine layer of dust laying all over everything. We not able to get enough moisture to feel like the dust will be settled.
NOW THE WIND. While it is blowing the dust all over it is also evaporating what little moisture was there. The wind blows in circles and deposits dust in every nook and cranny.
It is spring, the farmers are starting to farm. Their tractors stir the dust in huge plumes that follow them around the field, or lead them around the field. Depending on the direction the wind chooses to blow.
My family was among the refugees from Oklahoma during the Dust Bowel in the 1930’s. I remember reading about the devastation of the drought, this dust brings that to mind. I was not part of that, but my grandparents were and my father was 5 when they headed out for California with only the clothes on their back and a car piled high with what possessions that didn’t have to be sold and would fit. My recollections are that this time was quietly spoken of, if at all. I came away from childhood with an understanding that having enough food was a privilege. The only thing I have clear memories of the talk of the migration was the fear that was left in my father of starving. That was a huge impact on me, I felt his fear and it imprinted something profound on my brain. Food was never used as a weapon or threat against us and it still makes me crazy when I hear it being used as such. My own children didn’t have to fear going hungry. Their father had a stable job and enough money to provide enough food. Still, I couldn’t threaten them with going without for any kind of offense except wasting food.
It’s funny, in this country of plenty, we have lost the ability to appreciate the lack of things. Oh, we worry about not having a better car, a bigger house or the special new computer program that promises to repair something that isn’t really broken.
There are the ones that are among the ones that our government classifies as poverty stricken. Where they, by misfortune or mistake, have found themselves on the lowest end of the income bracket. There are safety nets in place for this group. They have the option of reaching out for the help they need. Then there are the ones that have “chosen” this lifestyle, due to addiction or mental illness they stay out of the mainstream and out of public programs. Unfortunately there are children that are drug through this and when they are identified they are helped as best we can.
There are people who truly do not “have”.
Who do you know that truly does not have a place to store their things and sleep at night. Who do you know that hasn’t had a meal of anything but flies because their three remaining children had to have the last piece of bread? How many people on your block froze last winter or starved. This is poverty, I have not met anyone like this, they do not live on my block. If they did, I have enough to share. I have an abundance even though I have little money.
This winter when there is 2 feet of snow, there will be no one in my little town that will freeze because of lack of resources. There is an energy share program available, there are shelters, there are families and there are neighbors.There is the Food Stamp program so that no one will go without. All of this makes us a rich nation.
All of this, because the wind blows. I am stuck inside dusting and thinking. ……………