Old now is earth,
and none may count her days.
Earth may be fair,
and all men glad and wise.
Age after age, their tragic empires rise,
Built while they dream,
and in that dreaming weep . . .
—Old Hundred Twenty-Fourth
A white-haired pastor, a white church, a white field. The snow is falling, with the wind and the speed of the car creating the illusion of a blizzard on a spring day in Texas. Tomorrow will be Easter Sunday.
At first, we see only tiny, almost invisible snowflakes. Then, we turn off I-35, passing acres of pasture, mesquite trees, cacti, and the wildflowers that have flourished in the first wet spring in recent memory. We pass bright patches of reds and oranges, pinks and yellows, and the bright bluebonnets, especially striking against the deep green of the grass, then the stark whiteness of the accumulating snowfall. The brown and harsh ground has come to life again, and the flowers are pushing through the snow like the struggling arms of the survivors of some catastrophic shipwreck. Windmills dot the land along the fence lines, and longhorns trot through the snow and patches of grass. Will the cold snap kill the wildflowers?
We enter Somervell County. Ahead is Glen Rose and, looming to the northwest, the Comanche...