Thursday, May 20, 2010

Prairie Story 14 Changes For The Land

A variety of columbine surround a gazing ball in my garden.I started these from seed two winters ago in my basement under lights, so it is fun to watch my babies grow.

A male cardinal gazes all around before visiting a sunflower feeder placed in the shade.


A Trumpeter Swan graces the prairie with its beauty and serenity, accompanied by a delightful blast from a voice deep within, to announce it's resurgence into the land.


A shy Belgium horse always greets me when I pass by. I would imagine it gets a treat occasionally from the owner or his children when they come to put him to work. He has planted the corn pulling a two row planter, so his next job will be to mow the hay to eat all winter.

This vast land was now cordoned off with fences, a barrier to freedom she thought. When she was a child the grasses were so tall you could easily get lost, or hide from a friend. Her Grandmother often cautioned leaving the major paths and trails left by their horses or elk and deer. They would break the sweet grasses in the direction they explored, finding new horizons on the prairie. She remembered fire rolling across these plains, sometimes good and sometimes bad. Fighting them was a fact of life, a part of survival. Her Grandmother was revered for helping stop one coming to their village. Everyone went into the wind and carried glowing ash from cooking fires. Children carried wood to them to keep the fire spreading forming a burnt barrier around them. Next they took the sacred cedar boughs and put out the fire when it approached their area perimeters. They were still a strong group, not beaten down with the white mans way. Now she was going to follow the path of the white man, understanding through experience how to modify this lifestyle to fit hers.

This expansion offered new commerce to the area. The railroad was headed their way in all four directions. Steamers rich in cargo plied the ever-changing rivers. They always listened for new ventures to seek across this prairie. The pony Express was short lived with an array of valiant riders. The old and new fused together resembling both the past and future. This land was a melting pot of cultures and ideas, a new legacy for this world. It seemed hard to see any problems that might arise, but there were many. Everyone had came from someplace else, so it seemed silly to worry about cultural trivialities. Those who saw no problem became strong with a wealth of spirit and traditions. All of the families values were very strong and hard to disrupt. She missed her family, but made up for that enjoying her new one. They all worked at helping each other so well; there never was a dull moment in her life now.

The men with telescopes and chains invaded their new home. It frightened her to see what her father had told her in many stories, unsure of what they wanted. When asked what they were doing they said it was for a new rail line. An agent was at their door in a few days to see about buying a parcel in their middle forty acres. He said he would be back giving them time to think about his offer. He reminded them it was best to take first offers; you might not know what would be offered next. His next visit did offer a bit less, but they had a small parcel to the south they could buy with the money he offered and accepted. A road would come with this rail line and their land was split in two parcels by it. This road was nice in dry weather but when it got bad they often had visitors who needed to get help where they were stuck. This meant a strain for his team and rigging, sometimes paid with a handshake. When they said they were just down the road, could be a great distance. It was fun to hear the story of these weather-beaten travelers. They often were headed to new lands just as this family had done when they settled here. It was a good reminder that they weren’t the only ones who struggled to build a new life. This good life made you always think about sending love and compassion to others on a gentle prairie breeze.

So begins a new journey
A job always to be done
A helper to millions
When millions had none.


6 comments:

  1. The Trumpeter Swan seems to render a good helping hand. I have a good night watching her swimming.

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  2. Another lovely story. I really like the gazing ball. I've always liked those and have wanted to get one for years but never have.

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  3. The combination of the picture of the horse and your story makes me think of my family's old farm. The last time I was there we were riding horses. Years before I was born, the farm's land was split in two by the highway.

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  4. Your story and photos meld so perfectly. Of course that sway is gorgeous and seeing that red cardinal makes me smile :)

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  5. Thank you for being here and enjoying my stories and pictures.If you have been following along there is a progression in time with the prairie stories.Unfortunately what started me on this idea was seeing family and prairie strength both dwindle through the decades.I place some of my experiences intertwined with families I have interviewed and been a part of.
    Rainfield I think about your adventures and share with many.
    Ann, it takes forever to pick the right color.Now about those goodies you make......
    Ratty, I would like to learn more!
    Costea I look forward to your new pics and remember some areas from my travels.
    Poetic Shutterbug, what a calm and soothing site and ideas you share.

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Keep it positive and informative,I enjoy hearing from you!