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Monday, Jan. 23, 2017
Bloom where you're planted!Posted Sunday, October 21, 2007, at 3:25 PM
Autumn comes to the DeJournett pond in beautiful rural Tillman, situated in the northern hills of Crowley's Ridge, just minutes from the busy metropolis of Advance and the sleepy village of Bell City.
Throughout this hot, dry summer, I've questioned my family's decision to ever come to this God-forsaken place of humid, 105-degree summers, riddled each July with drought and plagued each spring with floods. Friday's Statesman gives us the list of the 22 Missouri counties that Governor Blunt has requested be declared natural disaster areas: Bollinger, Butler, Cape Girardeau, Carter, Dunklin, Howell, Iron, Jefferson, Madison, Mississippi, New Madrid, Oregon, Pemiscot, Perry, Reynolds, Ripley, St. Francois, Ste. Genevieve, Scott, Stoddard, Washinton, and Wayne. Yep, there it is, folks. Early spring, followed by severe freeze - Then drought. It's a wonder we have any trees left.
But look at it now. Wow. Aren't you glad you didn't sell out and move to... where? Do you think there's a perfect place in these United States? And if there were, wouldn't it already be over-populated? I've heard that California used to be the "promised land," but from what I've heard of the urban sprawl, air pollution, and over-population, I wonder if folks didn't just pave over paradise and make it a parking lot. (Love that song!)
When I taught in Fairbanks years ago, I had a bright little poster on the wall of my English room. ElFreda modified the quote for the Oct. 10 NSC: "Bloom where you are planted!" One of my students, troubled by her family's move up to the frozen north, told me how much that poster helped her through a hard time.
I suppose we can always do like my goats and look to the greener grass on the other side of the fence, but I wonder if we would really improve our situation if we just picked up and moved to those greener pastures...
Then we'd miss these golden days of autumn, for sure. Robert Frost's poem bears restating:
"Nature's first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf's a flower,
but only so an hour.
So leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief.
So Dawn goes down to Day.
Nothing gold can stay."
From the green and gold hills of Tillman, this is your philosophical goat herder, Madeline, signing off...
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Madeline (Giles) DeJournett is the Advance writer for the North Stoddard Countian. A retired high school English/history teacher, she spent 32 years teaching in 5 schools in Missouri and Alaska. These days, she lives quietly with a menagerie of wild and domestic animals on 52 secluded acres in the remote Tillman hills south of Advance. She graduated from Dexter High School in 1960 and Southeast Missouri State in 1964. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.