by Emmett Smith
To anyone who grew up on the American prairie or high plains in the twentieth century, the song of the meadowlark recalls what we have lost in the name of what we have gained, the sacrifice or transformation of Nature in the name of wealth creation:
Did you hear for yourself the tender call of the meadowlark as that other creation of Nature, Union Pacific Challenger locomotive 3985, lumbered nearer and nearer, rumbling downhill out of the Wyoming Dick Cheney high Country?
Is it not a fair guess that human beings will without doubt use their wealth and science to recreate the natural world of many species now, temporarily, lost? Can you doubt for even a moment — once his ordinary man’s fears, too, of meaningless power are at last laid to rest — that even Mr Vice President Cheney will join in support of the glad work? What else could the very oil wealth itself be for, other than the resurrection of the past?
I tell you surely three times, enduring optimism in the face of such daunting facts as periodic mass extinctions in Nature must be the answer in and of itself. For it is so, in our persons Nature has now evolved, and God Himself finally has gotten far enough along, to the point where we can, and therefore we will, recover all that has been lost — simply by going forward through the no doubt terrible times for creatures now, again, at hand. Indeed, this old and carefully, most lovingly, restored locomotive, a relict of the first steam age,
huffing sootily toward us in a carol of prairie birdsong brings us our message, loud and clear:
Nothing and no one has been, and nothing and no one ever can be, lost “forever.”
[Emmett R Smith all text-rights reserved 25 December 2008]