I extend the warmest of greetings to the good people of Wayne County and enthusiasts of The Buzz. The weather is raw and damp as I pen this month’s column, however, with the daffodils rapidly appearing, can spring be too far behind? Spring means renewal, it means a new beginning, it means that which appeared dead miraculously is teeming with new growth. But most importantly, the past is temporarily put on the back burner and limitless hope abounds.
I have been in and around farming my entire life. How is it that we agrarians can put aside past failures so quickly? It always amazes me how we seem to forget poor crops, poor prices, drought, excessive rain, hurricanes, hail storms, and the multitude of dilemmas that farmers deal with. Surely the answer to this question lies in the hope that presents itself each year. Farmers cling to the hope of better yields, better markets for their commodities, and a better standard of living for their families. No one depends upon and looks toward the future with any more hope than do those who produce the food and fiber required to feed and clothe a hungry world.
I am reminded of Ernest Lawrence Thayer’s immortal poem entitled Casey at the Bat. The first two stanzas are as follows: “The outlook wasn’t brilliant for the Mudville nine that day: the score stood four to two, but with one inning more to play, And then when Cooney died at first, and Burrows did the same, A pall-like silence fell upon the patrons of the game. A straggling few got up to go in deep despair. The rest clung to the hope which springs eternal in the human breast; They thought, if only Casey could but get a whack at that--- We’d put up even money now, with Casey at the bat.” Just as the Mudville fans placed complete faith in their beloved Mighty Casey, we, too, draw upon hope and resolve. Sometimes we cannot see, cannot touch, and more often than not cannot define such hope. Never the less, it is real, and it sustains us in our darkest hours.
My wife, Nancy, and I attended an outstanding presentation of The Diary of Anne Frank just a few days ago. As Anne and her family and friends hid for two years in the attic of a factory, hope was the only thing they had to hold on to. Hope offers no guarantee for future success, but it certainly enables us to negotiate and survive in the present.
A great hymn of faith, My Hope is Built on Nothing Less says: “My Hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness; when every prop gives way, he then is all my Hope and Stay. On Christ, the solid Rock I stand; all other ground is sinking sand.”
In closing, I pose this one question. Where and in whom do you place your hope in present day America? Stay away from sinking sand. As always, until we next meet, be of good cheer.