I sit on my porch in the mornings. It’s warmer now. Warm enough to wear a sweater, drink coffee, and look at the pink sky creeping over the hills. There are a thousand birds! Mixed in the chorus of birdsong, I hear the river. It’s loud, rushing. There’s been rain this week. The river is so loud! The first day, I said, “How can I be hearing traffic? There is no traffic out here! Where is that noise coming from?” It sounds like an interstate! Then I realized it was the river.
Sometimes I can hear the steady pump-pump-pump of an oil rig beyond our farm. It doesn’t run all the time, just sporadically. My great-grandfather, on his farm across the river, used to say, “That is the sound of money.” Back in the day, this area was a center of gas and oil drilling. My great-grandfather made a lot of money off that pump-pump-pump sound. Not so many gas and oil pumps run around here today. Decades ago, the gas and oil companies decided they could drill other places, where they didn’t have to go as deep, for cheaper, and they went away. But times have changed, and they’re coming back. And my great–grandfather’s farm? My family still owns the mineral rights. When I hear the pump run, I say, “That’s the sound of money,” because a share of those mineral rights will come to me in time. And by then, maybe this area will be the center of gas and oil production it once was. I will do as my ancestors did, poor mountain folk who’d never seen so much money in their lives, and throw my clothes away to buy new every week because I have so much money, I don’t need to do wash. (Okay, I won’t do that, but they did!) And so I sit on my porch and fantasize about my future riches.
Hey, my chances are better at that than winning the lottery. (Which I didn’t win. Again. What is up with that?)
Then I look down at that loud river rushing between my farm and my great-grandfather’s and I know I am rich already. Just because I am here. Just because this is my morning.