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Drought 2012 by Becky Strom
Tuesday, February 18, 2014
I come often to this place of rest
where the rolling landscape,
covered with trees, prairie grasses
and wild flowers work at soothing
my soul. I often sit and listen to the
sounds of nature competing with each
other, occasionally sliced sharply by
birds screeching across the sky.

But today the shades of life are gone,
replaced by a season of drought. Corn
stalks stand on the edges, lingering
lifelessly, their faded clothing crinkling
as winds blow between them, singing
the song of death. Cries of their thirsty
roots having gone unheeded by creation.
Rainless days have left the soil parched,
cracked skin on earth mother’s cheeks.
Hot summer winds place a scorching
finger to my face even before sweat
can accumulate. Leaves, desperate
to hold on until their season’s end
lay at the base of trees, no milk left
to nurture the life clinging to branches

I am as at home in this parched world
as in the world where green grass abounds
and flowers dance. My cries unheeded,
longing for rain and the soil of my being, my
soul parched. It is part of the road I have
traveled, learning to trust in the roots buried
and hidden from sight to hold me strong.

But now lengthening shadows dance before
me as the sun begins its whispers of
goodnight, drifting lazily downward behind
my back leaving slanted trails of golden hues.
It is time to keep moving, knowing that
when I return, this sacred space will
speak to me once again in a new voice.

written summer, 2013
–By Becky Strom

Blog History

9/13/2018 - Andy Schmitz, Director of Horticulture, Published in Prestigious Journal
3/24/2016 - Dallas County Foundation funds new Gator for Brenton Arboretum
2/15/2016 - The Best Tree You've Never Heard Of
7/1/2015 - Stormwater Walk
5/22/2015 - Historic Homes & Gardens of the Scottich Highlands Tour
12/15/2014 - Emerald Ash Borer Confirmed in Five Southern Iowa Counties
10/24/2014 - 2014 Urban Tree Conference
8/25/2014 - Emerald Ash Borer
7/17/2014 - Vanishing Acts: Trees Under Threat Exhibit
5/7/2014 - INTOXICATING!
3/4/2014 - Plant Conservation at the Brenton Arboretum
2/18/2014 - Drought 2012 by Becky Strom
2/4/2014 - Emerald Ash Borer Confirmed in Bremer and Wapello Counties
1/28/2014 - Drake University Contest
1/13/2014 - The Des Moines Register ‘s Editorial: Iowa needs to focus on ash tree disaster
1/13/2014 - Des Moines Register, Iowa View: 32,000 football fields of trees gone
1/4/2014 - Happy Holidays from the Brenton Arboretum!
1/3/2014 - Osage Orange
10/23/2013 - The Chiara Quartet
1/1/2010 - Kids Nature Club
1/1/2010 - Register for a FREE program!