Will It Matter At All, If There Is Spring?

Tisdale - October 18, 1999
By: Timothy W. Shire
It was 0900 when these pictures were taken, after several days of overcast and threats of precipitation there is this break at the Northwestern horizon. We are looking North North West directly into about a twelve knot breeze with low scud hanging down from the solid overcast above. Though this has the appearance of being a single image, it really is two pictures combined to give you this vista. The patch of trimmed trees on the horizon is Tisdale's cemetery, that gives the only relief in the seemingly endless expanse of the flat border between land and sky.
This is the same place that ancestors of the present day First Nations people strolled across as the ice pack of the last glacial period was receding This is the place where the bison which seemed as plentiful as the grass moved about in herds beyond our imagination. This is the country side that the settlers, the European farmers, saw when they came here just a little over a hundred years ago, where they set up their farms, began working the land and raised their children and their great grand children live here today.
The richness and abundance of the soil that gave nourishment to the vanished bison and produced the bounty that kept the families farming here for three generations lies beneath that cold gray sky. Things seem so simple in this context, yet this abundance is held for ransom by the distance it is from markets that will pay less then it costs to produce the crops. Chemicals and the uncertainty of genetically engineered produce can not change the location or compensate for the distances.
The sky that promises more cold and hostile conditions will also bring the warm winds of spring and yet another summer and yet another harvest. With the jaws of winter at hand the promise of another year is darkened and more of a dream, intangible and elusive, dazzling in beauty but unless these dark clouds of winter are dealt with and the debts that accompany them, will it matter at all, if there is spring?