Wednesday, June 26, 2013

If the Creek Don’t Rise!

Wasn’t that a Tennessee Ernie Ford song?... Oh, well, it was something like that. Remind me! And, the President was remarkable in the Miami heat yesterday, laying it all out for us so clearly. Yet, the House of Representatives, the Koch brothers, the Tea Party and the U.S. Senators from the traditional southern states will disagree.
by Charlie Leck

As a young man, I was a Tennessee Ernie Ford fan. Oh, my, but the man could sing. He had a weekly television show (black and white) and he always closed it out by saying: “See you next week if the good Lord is willin’ and the creek don’t rise!” Since I hadn’t heard one of Ernie’s songs in so many years, I had to hunt one down on the internet. When Ernie sings How Great Thou Art, a guy almost wants to fall to his knees in devotion – almost! (Hear him sing the great hymn here.)

The creek rose this week here at Native Oaks Farm and it rose up with a bit of ferocity. It took the bridge into our farm with it – the only civilized way to get into the place.

The weather events of the last week have seriously tested my devotion. I looked up to the heavens and shouted out my question: “What the f-bleep is going on here?”

My wife is devastated. This is really her farm and not mine. She’s lovingly poured the last 33 years of her life into this place, working most days from early in the morning until late into the evening. We’ve had our disagreements about the time and energy she puts into this place and the time and attention that I don’t get as a result. Yet, I’ve always admired the love she’s had for this farm and how devoted she's been to it.

Well, the weekend storm, a week ago, was a little too much for our wonderful spot on this earth to handle. The lovely, little creek that meanders through it turned into a bit of a monster and kept on rising over the weekend and also even in the week following the storm as the run-off water leaked into it.

A bridge – maybe 70 or 80 years old – was the main victim of the rising creek. It’s quite amazing how we get attached to such things. I liked that old bridge and didn’t want to see it go.

I’ve told myself a couple dozen times to stop feeling sorry for myself. “There are people with real problems,” I’ve said, “ – real problems! You’ll awaken in a cozy bed tomorrow and there will be orange juice awaiting you and a wonderful, hot cup of coffee. It isn’t the Earth’s fault – all these problems – but it is just that we don’t know how to plan properly for special times like this. I’m sorry that I snapped at you, Earth. You are wonderful and your abundance sustains us!”

This isn’t really a blog about our little bridge or our farm…
Did you listen to the President’s speech in Miami yesterday? Now, those are real problems that the man is outlining for us. Within 50 to 100 years, Miami may be considered America’s Atlantis. Most of the city is only five feet above sea level. The current pace of global warming will mean that Miami would be totally disabled in the near future. Still folks won’t believe it! We simply won’t learn to get along with this precious Earth.

Those phenomenally wealthy Koch brothers don’t agree either. They call the president “Chicken Little.” The creek simply won’t rise they tell us; and it seems like many Americans are willing to gamble on that.

Well, the president may be lots of things, but he isn’t chicken. The actions he announced in Miami yesterday will put both his reputation and his legacy at stake. Faced with a Congress that will not act, the president is trying to use the power of the executive office to initiate environment actions to save the earth. In my opinion it rivals President Lyndon Johnson’s brave actions surrounding the Voting Rights Act (to which SCOTUS* did great damage yesterday).

As I sit here, in my wonderful tree-top study, I can look out at the rising creek – higher and wider than I have ever seen it -- higher and higher and higher.

"And God said, 'Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear.' And it was so. God called the dry land Earth, and the waters that were gathered together he called Seas. And God saw that it was good. And God said, 'Let the earth put forth vegetation, plants yielding seed, each according to its kind, upon the earth.'  And it was so. The earth brought forth vegetation, plants yielding seed according to their own kinds, and trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind. And God saw that it was good." [Genesis 1:9-13]
SCOTUS = Supreme Court of the United States

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