Come forth into the light of things,
Saint Thomas Aquinas said that the virtue of prudence is "right reason in action."
I made a very prudent decision today to spend the school day outside soaking in all of spring's sweet splendor. As Wordworth so aptly put it, nature is a most perfect teacher, the outdoors a child's favorite classroom.
The essence of today's experience outdoors wasn't just for fun or refreshment - it was for renewal. Renewal of mind and body, renewal of hope...renewal of sanity. I'll admit should an opportunity for spontaneity arise, an opportunity to set a match to my "to do" lists, schedules and plans, to abandon dirty dishes and piles of laundry for something more noble, I will seize it.
Unless you're a Southwest Kansas native or a die-hard Weather Channel devotee, you may not know that our area of the state is in a severe drought. By severe I mean worse than it was in the Dirty Thirties. It may not appear to be as severe, because our farming practices today are better than they were 80 years ago. This summer is predicted to be as dry or worse than last summer, and I just can't wrap my mind or my heart around that forecast.
(Ever optimistic, while we should be putting in a pool with a swim-up bar, we are instead planting a garden and getting the landscaping ready for flowers. I'm scolding myself as I type this.)
Many of us are still healing from the intensity of last year's weather. Scalding heat and devilish winds sucked the life breath out of every living thing - and nearly every living being. The effects of the oppressive weather was deeply etched in the faces and posture of every farmer across the area. It beat them down right along with their fields. When the wind blows so hard for consecutive days that drifts of dusty thin soil creep up the sides of the house, and you wake up to the sound of sand pelting mercilessly against the windows, hoping it's the sound of rain instead, it is nothing short of exhausting.
So, when days like today come around, it is more than prudent, it is essential to live outside. To remind yourself what clean, fresh, new, happy, hope smells like, feels like and looks like. And, then you have to absorb it all, deep down into your bones, and hope that it will be enough to last through the days of deeply dry forecasted to come.....enough to hold the belief that a rain will come, that it will come just in time, and sprinkle a little life back into our faith, back into our farms.
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