Vehicle headlights shine through darkness and thick smoke creating a golden glowing outline around a mother and young daughter as they walk across a paved surface. Debris litters the parking lot as many gather around. Lights flash and explosions continue to echo as a storm builds again toward the eastern horizon. Boats drift in the lake as if dead in the water, even as more fuses are lit and semi-controlled chaos returns again to the skies.
THUMP...KABOOM! Orange sparks trail the explosive out of a launching tube ending in a round burst over a hundred feet in the air with patterns of green, red, white, blue, and yellow showers fading into the night sky. Mouths gape and eyes reflect an awe that only the 4th of July can bring. After a five-year drought, local lakes are full and firework celebrations have returned to local communities.
Droughts can affect the mind as much as the land. For the last five years, up to the beginning of this Spring, both flora and fauna alike have suffered. Fields, once full of grass, were filled with patches of dry, cracked earth. Some ponds were reduced to mud and, in some cases, the fish populations were wiped out completely here. Lakes fell below twenty percent capacity. Some towns ran out of water. Words like “Pray for rain” were read aloud on local news broadcasts daily.
Then came the deluge. So intense, widespread, and severe were Spring storms in North Texas that one day a meteorologist finally had to tell his entire audience to seek shelter; there were simply too many tornados and circulating storms to keep up with. By the end of Spring it was clear that too much rain could also affect the mind and the land. Creeks washed out fences, massive trees fell in high winds due to the oversaturated soil beneath them, and many homes were lost or damaged due to flooding. Tropical Storm/Depression Bill was among the latest torrential rain we received here, dumping over 12 inches in less than 24 hours atop the Spring rains of the previous four weeks.
"Be careful what you wish for" — an old saying that crossed my mind as I watched the firework celebrations last Saturday night. But then I wondered, as I stared at the smiles on the faces of children and adults alike, where would the world be without wishes?