When I wrote about a drought in Miracle in a Dry Season, I’d experienced some minor droughts and read about some serious ones. This year is the first time I’ve actually felt fearful because of a drought.
We had some rain in August. But in September and October there was only about a half an inch per month (cumulative!). November has seen only trace amounts. And now tens of thousands of acres are on fire–dry leaves providing ample kindling.
Here’s a passage from the book that touches on that fictitious dry spell:
Casewell was so absorbed by his work that he paid little attention to what was happening in the community over the next few weeks. But as the dog days of August approached, the drought became so dire no one could remain oblivious to it. Cattle were chewing on twigs and eating ivy and there wasn’t a farmer in the county with even one bale of hay remaining in his barn. Housewives raided cellar stores as gardens wasted away. Everything was coated in dust and creeks had been reduced to dry rocks.
As he walked outside, Casewell felt like he was waking up from a deep sleep. He looked around him at what was suddenly an alien landscape. He realized that the grass in the yard was brown and there were bare spots of nothing but dirt. Some of the trees had lost their leaves and those that remained looked sad and shriveled. A stand of pines close to the road was coated in a layer of dust as was the mailbox. And it was hot. The sun beat down on the cracked earth and Casewell noticed an absence of birdsong. He had emerged from his work into a wasteland. Fear rose in him, a foreboding tide that somehow seemed greater than the drought they were facing.
While the drought here isn’t anywhere near this bad, the addition of wildfires has left us all on edge. I think I got the fear right–a rising tide that requires faith and a healthy dose of hope. Please keep praying for rain.