Place Where You Live:

Assumption, Nebraska

Assumption, Nebraska.   It isn’t a town, scarcely a village.  It has a sign (of sorts, for folks seeking absolution in a catholic church).  About two dozen nice people live here.  Nobody actually farms, but farmland is all around.  My neighbor has two mules he likes to hitch to a wagon to accompany trial rides, or just clop, clop, clop down Assumption road.  I’m on the west edge of it, and west of me is a vernal wetland; a buffalo wallow. It’s supposed to be a waterfowl production area, but mostly they just rest there a bit, seeking assimilation.  Last spring,  whooping cranes were seen.  As we walk down the gravel road the Killdeer scold us and fly ahead a few yards to do it all again.  Sometimes we watch a murmuration of blackbirds, and their announcement of life is so absorbing, like being next to a waterfall.  All around is the horizon, which reminds us constantly we are not really on a flat plain, but a point on a globe that escapes our view. There are illusory little defiles in the otherwise flat loess plain, for you dip into one and look all around to decide if there is any sort of creek involved, or where it could possibly escape.  Most of the “creeks” around here only flow with sand.  Aeolian sand that either escaped from the great erg that lies to the north, or perhaps the apoplectic Platte River, that slathered the Cretaceous sea bed with debris as it wandered without discipline or confinement here, then there.  Not far below my feet lies huge lens of buried sand and gravel from paleovalley that flowed through here two million years ago and between those grains flow part of the Ogallala aquifer, the preciously sweet water source I assimilate to live, but here there are 3 to 4 pivots for every section sucking it out.

Assumption means to be gathered up into heaven, and we are certainly doing that to the ancient Ogallala water.  Rapture for water molecules or death by a thousand cuts, it portends apocalypse for us.