Wednesday, March 30, 2011

A Prairie Song

Great Blue Herons in flight

The difference between good and poor living is how you make it. Many of us have had a good life, yet remain poor in our finances. Over the ages the situation really hasn’t changed. We have all encountered similar lifestyles and work ethic; it is how you put them to use. Pioneers first stepping on the prairie built their spirits with love for the land. The beauty was all over and obviously they felt they were doing little harm with their small plots. Little did they know what would become of this beautiful ocean of flowers and grasses. What had taken eons to build only took decades to destroy. The prairie once had a good life, but what is left leaves it with poor finances.

When someone was in need in this beautiful land, it often has been neighbor helping neighbor that has helped many of us prosper both in wealth and spirit. This could help the prairie to prosper again. We all need to take some heed of the lovely flora and resources it has to offer. It may only be a roadside planting you are enjoying, but watching it prosper offers a wealth in spirit. Many have lost touch with their spirit and have forgotten what made this country strong. They set aside a need for work and feel others should take care of them. This isn’t what kept our growth strong and we all need to work at understanding this spirit better.

So it is up to you to start this regrowth of spirit for the land. We are all stewards of this beautiful world and can make things better by all working together. Neighbor helping neighbor, just like what built this mighty land. The power this could build would provide a wonderful life for generations to come. We need to be aware of all that is around us and not ignore problems that could be easily remedied. We won’t have the mighty oceans of prairie, but we still can create seas, which could become oceans once again over time. It is a continued effort, just as our lives have been throughout the generations.

Whether in large or small prairie areas, I hear that gentle song. I listen to what is going on as I enjoy the ever-blooming sequences of love and compassion. I can hear those children playing while they traveled through this area with their families. The thrill of new treasure inspired many people to travel here. On words of others they sometimes looked for that easy life and found many complex challenges. It was succeeding that made their lives fuller and built community spirit. It is success with our prairie restoration that will build this spirit even stronger even though it is such a gentle song. Listen to the sounds around you and enjoy the beauty offered, it us not the size of the package that matters. The spirit is always there. Feel that spirit as it is carried along, on a gentle prairie breeze.




One thing about compassion

Is that it comes with definitive grace

It’s easy to show someone how you feel

When you look at them face to face.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Not Just Another Day

A sparrow sat on top of another bluebird house, singing out a song. He hoped it wasn’t a call to the other sparrows that here was a good home . Sparrows love to evict the beautiful birds, viciously. He thought to maybe put a piece of wood over the opening with a smaller opening like 1 1/8 inch a few other cavity nesters would use. That fat sparrow wouldn’t fit as well and could find new territory to attract someone to join him building a home. He had started out in the back and didn’t have any luck so was on a front box giving it a try. He wondered if it was the same one, a kind of lonely guy. Not too bad of a song, he felt he had heard it on the wind, moving across his open range. He liked to offer his thoughts and wisdom to this song like hooting like an owl or doing one of the best bull calls you or a good herd of cattle have ever heard a cowpoke sing.

It became rather apparent how much this life style change took on him. It was something we all need to try in our lives, some seem to shrug it off better. He saw new things just pop up in his manner, and there would not be any control to them. They made him feel a lot better about himself and at one with the land. He stared at the coffeepot dripping into the pot and wondered if there had been any other names for cowboy whiskey. He began to think of the good stuff, not that crap one tried to pawn off on the cheap customers, honest to goodness Redeye. A few he had tried didn’t sit very well, so he chose coffee instead, decaf please. It keeps your eyes clear and your mind as well. He had a good selection of teas and instant cappuccino mixes as well should he only want one cup. He had heard that a slang for coffee was talk soup, but had heard the same for martini’s. Some days he liked to stop at the grocery deli and join the regular table to tell and listen to stories. They pulled in their chairs to hear some of his cowboy tales. Many had been down this road and many still traveled it well. He would begin with one story and end with another. After a bit everyone moved on, mountains of coffee served each day.

It had been warm out for a few days, and he headed to the stable with a light coat on. He slapped on some gloves and listened to his spurs jingle on this crisp day. It wasn’t too bad once he got riding, and he headed to watch some cows. One looked like its new calf was starting to crown, lying with a small group. She had a calm look on her face, almost unaware of what was coming up next. Another newborn lay out in the field, stretched out weak from eating so much. He knew by the calm on the one mother’s face he wouldn’t need to help, and rode on looking over growth on his herd. The sun warmed his face and he absorbed it as much as he could. He just stared off for a bit and let it warm his soul. Just being in his herd put a smile across his face. He enjoyed the calm feeling he had while watching them and rode on back home.

A good idea is to visit low water areas when the water is down to see a lot of different treasures. Walking around a huge lake he moved down to the shoreline seeking new finds. He found rocks set as if part of a still life, being the fist human viewing of the year. Stepping over a tree he saw a broken bottle and tried not to step on it. Unfortunately the clay around him had another thought and grasped his shoes and making him start sinking in the quicksand. He moved to pull up a leg and his shoe came off. Not worrying what to do next he ambled toward higher ground, but there was a steep bank that kept him low. He stopped for a short time to tie his shoes so they didn’t pull off again. He had to move quickly however, he was sinking deep at the same time. It made him think of a time walking to his truck and kicking his leg in the air to dislodge some mud. Off flew his boot in an almost slow motion shot. There he stood, no water to clean up with, standing on one leg and wondering what to do. He took his sock off and waded to retrieve the shoe, waiting for the sun to dry the mud left after scraping his foot, so he could put the shoe back on. Today there really wasn’t anywhere to sit, unless he climbed the embankment and found a tree. A huge boulder lay up ahead and he ambled through the mire to get there as soon as he could. So much for sneaking around, he was slipping and sliding around with a few proverbial phrases being said.

Sitting on the rock he looked around and laughed at his predicament. It was all part of the fun hiking. When swimming along the river they often looked for mud that would let you sink when you did the mud stomp dance in it. Often he enjoyed letting the mud dry all over his body and crack off, cleansing his pores deep. Today he wasn’t going to do that, it was a bit chilly to take off his clothing. Walking farther along he found some otter prints perfectly cast in this mud. He looked for others, but they were the only ones. It was odd how this critter had just vanished without a trace. He found a small colorful stone and remembered passing out worry stones to many friends. This also made him laugh at wanting to bring many home for his garden, but the weight was prohibitive. He felt others needed to see this beauty also. A hawk swooped by and offered him some wisdom and he sat and pondered on that thought. The sun sang him a song from behind the clouds, welcoming him into a wonderful day.

Getting home he was surprised he got those messy shoes all cleaned up for another journey through the mud. He savored the shots he had taken while out, a colorful theme of his day in the woods. He liked going to this huge lake, there was always something new to find, along with a variety of thoughts and memories floating on the gentle prairie breeze. Often he came to a spot and realized just where he stood and what picture he had taken. It was like a continuing chapter in a book he was part of.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

New Pastures

His friend picked him up at the train station and it was a three-hour ride to get to the farm. It was nice to have this new line, since it was three days ride from his home. He enjoyed these gentle mountains carved by a mighty river. Cold-water streams were full of trout and there were numerous ideas created to paint and draw. It was so overwhelming his host often had to plead with him to come and enjoy dinner with his family. This would be a fun month trying to mix his work with play.

When he awoke early the next day he decided to fish for awhile before a day of work. On his first cast his line went taunt and he held the fish until it had wrapped around a tree limb. He traded poles and waited for his captive to perhaps unhook itself. The water was so clear he could see the trout slowly becoming weary. Not wanting to lose this prize he followed the line into the pool. It was a lot deeper than what it looked, but he was still unable to reach the stranded fish. Holding his breath he blindly grabbed at the fish and snared it with his hand. It was a valiant battle again with the powerful fish trying to squirm free. With a triple flip and grab the fish was on the bank and into a bucket of water to revive it. He lay back in the grass to dry off, watching hummingbirds feed on some jewelweed.

The day passed quickly, and he didn’t get home until late afternoon. Maybe tomorrow would offer a better work ethic. Instead it mirrored the previous day, shy of having to rescue fish off a tree limb. After telling fish stories all evening he awoke early the next day with fish fever. He went back to the same area, with more expertise not to snag as much. Well not quite as much, but had to leave when he ran out of hooks.

After five weeks he had a few pieces finished and many in the works. His fishing abilities had increased, eating it sometimes for all three meals. There was certain happiness he received sitting next to these beautiful streams. They talked to him it seemed, as a mother would talk to a young child, and he never worried about time passing. Fairies snickered nearby, happy that he had found the spirit carried in this lovely area. His final day they took canoes upstream and floated down a lovely river. He held up his hands to the sky many times, thanking the land for the happiness he felt when he was up here. A gentle breeze gathered these praises and passed them all over the land to all that would enjoy this happiness.
One thing I have found out
Is to listen to what all have to say.
Gaining a wealth of knowledge each day
Makes us stronger and our lives so lovely.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Where There's a Will

Once a month a group met to sing and play guitars, for a fun gathering of friends. Some of those songs held that special feel, especially ones he had added lyrics to and asked to add on during the song. They held together through the night with that twining bond that often beckons out on the range. Songs always stayed with him, sometimes it was just a catchy jingle. So for the entire day he would be humming with that tune. A special event could always bring up a song and he revered those soft times in life he would enjoy. Once out with a rather no so wild lady those songs were flying into his head with everything she said. Finally sensing her annoyance he felt it was the artists he was naming. It was more reminding her of her Dad, so those coals fizzled. He thought the parents were older than he was.

A sparrow sat on top of a bluebird box calling out a song. He watched him for a great deal of time, wondering if he thought he was the first to find this home and wanted all the available ladies to know what was going on. Just one more thing to do later in the day, cleanup what few pieces it had brought in. Maybe he had set this one too close to his house. He would rather watch bluebirds. The sparrows took over a number of homes, he had spent a daily clean in the martin house the year before. One article he had read was a fellow went overseas for a few years leaving his old homestead vacant. During that time the sparrows found new turf. He came back and saw hardly any. In a few months they came back in. Maybe they were friends with all the cowboys and enjoyed cowboy antics.

Standing in his yard he played a bit with the rope. He wished a larger animal was around but threw his rope around a few objects around him, and a few who objected such as the dog. He tried to get it spinning along the ground like some of his favorite cowboys did. Getting the loop somewhat right he jumped inside and found it was hard to keep spinning with it wrapped around your boots and fell quickly to the ground, The language and the humor of the situation tickled a neighbor watching from far away. He yelled to do that again, it was funny. Feelings hurt a bit he walked around a shed and tried it again, this time drawing blood after a few falls. He held the rope up and gave it a fling off to the side and went in to wash out his scrape. Maybe he needed a new rope he thought.
Riding out that afternoon he thought all were happy to see him. They looked attentively hoping the grain truck was near he thought. He laughed and wondered who had come up with the term little dogies for cattle. The mess they would make in a house or yard wouldn’t put them on his favorite pet list. Even his horse slipped in it. A pie throw was always fun as a kid, so he got off and let a few sail. The distance really mattered, but he soon ran out of sailing pies, and mistakenly picked up one a little ripe still. He walked down to the stream to wash off a bit. When he got there he saw where some deer had been and looked at the new washout in the bank for anything good. One of these days he might find that huge bone that would make him famous as some rancher in a magazine had. He could name it cowboyasoris.