Tuesday, March 19, 2019


I'm a huge believer in the power of story.

Stories help us to understand each other.

Stories help us to connect.

Every once in a while,

a story hits me in the gut.

Like this morning, for instance.

I live in Colorado.

Colorado is right next door to Nebraska.

For the past week, I have been hearing and reading about the flooding in Nebraska.

And to be honest,

I have not paid all that much attention.

It hasn't really hit home.

And then this morning, I was driving to work.

Listening to the radio, like I do pretty much every morning.

A man called in asking for prayer.

He is a fourth generation cattle farmer from Nebraska.

Right now, his land  and his cows are under 18 feet of water.

The water will probably not recede until Saturday.

His cattle,

one hundred years of hard work,

and planning,

and dreaming,

are almost certainly gone.

His voice broke as he said,

"But they are more than just cows.

They are part of my family."

and I imagined him milking them,

and rubbing their heads,

and calling them by name,

and now they are gone.

And all day, I have been thinking

about those cows

under eighteen feet of water

and that man who loves them so much.


Carol Varsalona said...

Carol, I was saddened by the news you wrote about in your poem. I turned to my husband and reiterated what you said. His reply, "Life is fragile." "Fragile and uncertain", I replied. We cannot take life for granted. Thank you for sharing this slice.

Celia said...

Oh that is so very sad, farmers in some ways have the toughest lives and have to overcome so much hardship. It certainly brings the enormity of an event home.

Chris said...

It's mind-boggling to think of 18 feet of water covering a pasture. How on Earth will they find the strength to recover. My heart breaks for the people of Nebraska, especially the farmers.