AW: So there's a song about how odd it is to be a farmer out here. It's sort of natural and sort of not. But any case it's the-it's the water that makes the difference, the water and the soil. So this is a piece that I wrote-I think I told you earlier when we were talking ahead of the-before we got started that-that was-it's actually-was published as a magazine article about the crisis of water here on the Llano. It's called, Mining the Mother Lode.00:54:27 - 2237We are the tribe of the mother lode aquifer. Twelve hundred centuries, nomads have traveled heremaking their camps in the spring and the fallseeking shelter in canyons and washes and swales,building hearths of caliche and hunting and gatheringlife that collected where water empowered it. Even when drought plagued the prairie atop of it,water welled up from the sweet Ogallala Lakeall along Yellow House Draw to the Canyon landnourishing passers-by, nomad and animalnourishing all who tread lightly and carefully. 00:55:01 - 2237Here in the land of the mother lode aquiferrains unpredictable even in good seasons. Never enough but for grasses and buffalonever enough but for seasonal wonderers. Never enough for the dwellings of permanenceneeded for farming and ranching and industry. Never enough for the chambers of commerce. Rain can't be entrusted to God and the elementsnot by the tribe of the mother load aquifer. 00:55:32 - 2237Deep in the earth through the rocks that encumbers it,down to the water sand,down to the water peg,dig down with drilling rigs,lay in the well casing,thrust in the sucker rod,pull it out, let it comedrawing the water up,drive it with wind power,drive it with gasoline,drive it electrically,pumping and pumping and pumpingtill water runs shining in furrowsand sparkling on summer lawns,spewing through towers for cooling the gas flaring coal smoking power plants. 00:56:00 - 2237Making more energy, pumping more water,more water all over the land of the mother lode aquifer.Here are no headwaters. Little replenishing what we are draining. So little restraining how much we are using and how we are using it. Here the great lake of the plains subterranean dwindles each season,each turn of the faucet, each flick of the switchstarting up the submersibles, dwindling down ditches through siphon tubes,dwindling down side rolls and pivots and gated pipe,dwindling down water gaps, water mains, water taps,00:56:36 - 2237water drains dwindling down every new housing development. Dwindling until there are farms metamorphosingonce irrigated to dry land and grass pasture. Letting their silos stand empty as metaphortestament future shock here in the present tensefrail to either fragile the mother lode aquifer. Ample enough is this waste of our own making. Here where we once believed rain followed plow,believed boosters, promoters and huckster developers.hitched up our wagons, to forty small acres00:57:11 - 2237plowed fence row to fence row with cash crops on bank notes. Built churches, raised children and sent them to colleges. Sent them to wars, sent them out of the hinterlands,sent them to places that never relinquished them. Here from the land of the mother lode aquiferpeople are leaving for jobs in the popular citiesor leaving as victims of bottom line corporate discountersdriving off businesses started by yours and my mom and pop grand parents. Corporate farmers replacing the family's,swashbucklers slashing and cuttingefficiency chanted as mantra while nobody is answering,00:57:50 - 2237who will take care of the mother lode aquifer? Fear lines our pocketbooks. Fear comes in quarter inch 4x8 plywood sheets nailed over windowpanes. Fear grows in weeds in the sidewalks of vacancies. Fear breeds a desperate bargaining. Jobs. Bring us jobs. Bring us jobs. Bring us jobs. Bring us anything. Bring us the worst of your wasteand your prisoner radioactive and toxic,the detritus social and otherwise flushed from the gutter pipeslaid from the centers of power and influence. Aimed at the weak, at the people of choicelessness. 00:58:28 - 2237Stumbling around in the waste not their own making,waste that will poison the mother lode aquifer. Ample enough is this come-hither beggaringpleading abasing ourselves with our appetites. Worse still, the mother lode aquifers guardians shockingly favoringselling our water rights, falling to pitches from old fashioned renegades. Now a days using computers for running errands. Now a days using their lawyers for wire cutters. Now a days throwing out sound bites for lariats. Bullying water boards into considering 00:59:01 - 2237selling our life blood, low bid, not worryingselling tomorrow to pay for today. Selling every last drop of the mother lode aquifer. What will become of us when we are waterless,we of the tribe of the mother lode aquifer,nomads and wanderers rooted by water wells. Cities and homesteads and farmlands and cattle spreads,everything other than short grass and buffalowholly dependent on mining the mother lode. Far away, far away where rain is plentifulyear end and year out and always predictable. Learned professors have studied the exodus made by our people,00:59:40 - 2237our water, our resources, calling our depopulation a certaintysaying, why fight it? Lets recognize lost causes when they are lost causes. Let's give the prairie back, back to the ruminants, back to the grasses. Let's give us a home where the buffalo roam. Where the skies are not cloudy all day,after day, after day, after daywhere the antelope seldom are heardfor there's no one to hear the discouraging wordwhen the commons belong to the buffalo. 01:01:08 - 2237Crazy, say chambers of commerce,but who's crazy now as we drink up our mother lode aquifer,now as we poison our mother lode aquifer,now as we sell off our mother lode aquifer. Poets and dreamers, the only true realists, live in the future. They do not imagine it. Seeing tomorrow with yesterday sorrowings,seeing tomorrow was here and now is borrowings. Seeing the present as futures own history. Poets and dreamers, the only true realists,know that the gift is the ultimate mystery. Knowing a gift not in motion is powerless. 01:00:44 - 2237Knowing no gift can be taken for profiting. Knowing no gift can be subject to ownership. Poets and dreamers who live on El Llanoknow what is the gift but the mother lode aquifer. What will we do with this gift of the mother lode? Pray that the poets and dreamers remember it. Pray that its guardians hold it in stewardship. Pray that we honor it. Pray that we husband it. Pray for the tribe of the mother lode aquifer. Pray for the water,the sweet Ogallala Lakenourishing all who tread lightly and carefully,lightly and carefully, lightly and carefully.