Behold the cottonwood tree in our front yard. Unlike the maples in the background, it has already hunkered down for winter. And it too is crooked (see the previous post).
The tree is very sensitive to drought, and would have done much better had it been planted along the bank of a river.
We had fairly good rainfall throughout the summer, so it held onto its leaves a little longer this year than it normally would, but even so, by the end of September they had all turned yellow and fallen to the ground.
Behold a Cottonwood of another sort. I went to church here with my sister. Now, I've been in some big meetings of a religious nature in the past, and I attended a very large church in downtown Los Angeles for a while in the late 1960s, but this was probably the largest regular church service that I have ever been a part of. I am guessing between 900 and 1000 people were in the auditorium. This church is not hunkered down.
A black woman was sitting to my left, and as we stood to worship, I could not help but think about the vision of heaven that is presented in the Revelation. Just about every color of skin was represented in that auditorium, just as it will be in heaven, and we were worshiping together in harmony and peace and love, just as it will be in heaven. Racism will not have a place there.
About 30 years ago we left the melting pot of Los Angeles, and after a couple of years in Oregon, we came to a monoculture in the Ozarks. In the 2000 census, the population of the county where we live was 37,238; of these, 35,905 were white and the remaining 1333 were spread between 114 black, 362 American Indian, 134 Asian, 16 Native Hawaiian, 103 some other race, and 607 were two or more races. Counted separately were 450 Hispanic or Latino residents. So it is now 8 years later, but I suspect the figures haven't changed much.
I imagine if one were to survey residents here, most people in the county would say they like it just fine the way it is, thank you very much. There is some cultural diversity here, but this area of the state has a history of racism, as indicated by the post at this blog, which has a picture of the shameful billboard that brought this area some unwanted publicity not too long ago. Our town has few minorities of any sort. A Highway Patrol officer who used to attend our church told a story once about a black couple who had broken down on the highway at night just outside of the town, and he drove them about 40 miles to another county to find lodging because he feared for their safety.
It's a terrible legacy, and I would like to think that it can change someday.