Prairie Seasons

Now the grasses and wildflowers, brown and gray after the first hard frost, heavy with seed, begin their long sleep under winter’s blanket.  Another year’s growth now dying back, dropping seed onto my dark and ancient soil.

Growing like a riot in the hot and sunny seasons, reaching to the sun, rooting into the earth. Dancing the ancient dance of life on this planet!

Remembering summer, not long past, as our magnificent tall and slender grasses waved in the wind, soaked in the strong sunlight of the endless summer days.

Tall prairie grasses

Remembering the exquisite opalescent skies at dusk.

Remembering our roots reaching deep into the earth to anchor us and draw in nourishment. Remembering our huge network of interwoven roots holding the soil as the storms blew through the rains washed over and pounded our grasses almost flat.

Our deep roots giving grasses taller than a man stability on their slender stems, the strength and resilience to flex and sway with the constant summer breezes, the great masses of big bluestem undulating like waves on the sea, in constant motion.

Here is abundant life in summer! Any bit of open soil claimed by another fallen seed. This beautiful land, a variegated community, a web of growth.

I am home to furbearers, insects of all descriptions, frogs, turtles, snakes, songbirds, birds of prey. Our summer prairie teems with life, teems with promise.

Redwing blackbird

Now in late fall a time of rest as the sun turns its face to the south, draining warmth from the land.  Now  we fold our tents, burrow deep, send life down into our roots, slow our breathing and hearts to sleep awhile, out of the freezing cold.

Wildflower seedheads

Our summer has been a riot of color, growth, raucous birdsong, feeding butterflies, burrowing mice, dancing green grasses, blooming wildflowers. 

And now it is our season to rest and renew ourselves for next year’s gathering, our exuberant celebration of life under the huge dome of sky and light that gives us life.

Late summer

Growing things seem to pause now. Deep green leaves of ash, maple, and oak hang still in the humid air.  Butterflies frantically feed, flit and dance among late summer wild flowers…

DSCN8535 (480x640)

Late summer prairie grass

The new growth and excitement, the twittering birdsong of spring is a memory.  Now the grasses bend, top heavy with seed.  Dragonflies dart and zip above the prairie, sunlight reflecting from their glassy wings.

The new bird generations have all fledged and flown – Empty nests all around.  The insects sing their late summer songs, the chirp, the buzz, the whine of cricket and cicada, the tempos slowing as nights grow cooler.  The tree frogs chorusing their trance like rhythm into the wee hours, night after night.

Flowers that were bright with summer’s colors just a few weeks ago now fading, browning,  going to seed.   Still blooming, the magnificent plumes of goldenrod, masses of them,  swaying gently in the breeze.

2018-08-27 09.56.38 (640x480)

Goldenrod plumes

All the green rooted things hold their breath,  soak in the light of the  southward sliding sun, before the final days, the yellowing, the browning, the final dropping of seed and leaf, the dying down to the roots, the cooler autumn wind that will soon come and bring frost with it, and death.  The great letting go, before winters long nap…

Stand here on the cusp of change, knowing what is passing, knowing what is to come.  It is time for a late summer  rest.  Lie back under a friendly tree, soak up this still and timeless, day, this moment, before the sun turns to autumn once again.

 

 

Did you live fully?

Did you live fully this summer?

dscn3625-640x480

Red maple leaf

Did you wade in the stream, skip stones, feel the sun on your face, listen to the birdsong, the droning insects, sit at the base of a friendly tree and allow yourself to be? Did you laugh with your friends? Did you lay in the shade and watch the clouds float above? Did you make your own fun?

Did you do what your heart desired? Did you do what satisfied your soul and made you happy? Did you give yourself permission to enjoy life?

Did you follow your intuition, your best inner nudges and hunches? Did you do the uplifting thing when you had a choice?

Did you choose the actions that created harmony within yourself and with others? Did you allow the full power of the light within you to shine?

Now it is time to gather in the harvest, pick fruit from the trees, and tell stories by the fire.  It is time to let go of the old and gather energy for the new growth already stirring within you.

Come and visit!

I’ve gotten my “haircut” for the year. Most of this year’s leaves are already scattered around my base, yellow and decaying, becoming food for next year’s growth and shimmering display.  A few of my dying leaves, still attached, flutter in the fall breeze sending silvery light through the woods and prairie margins. 

dscn3376-480x640

Grandmother Cottonwood

Come and visit us here in the woods. Quiet down and listen to the sighing the singing, the flowing and fluttering, the heartbeat of the natural world that supports and feeds and nurtures each and every one of us.

Come visit your fellow earth inhabitants! Know that we love you!  Turn off that shiny “smart” object, put it in your pocket and commune with us.  Tune into your wild nature and remember your roots in the rich earth.  You are a beloved spirit, an irreplaceable part of the web of the whole.

We nature spirits and beings long to connect and uplift you, to soothe and comfort, and hold your feet firmly to the earth, the magnificent green planet that is our home.

dscn3475-480x640

Hackberry tree bark

Lie on our fragrant cushion of fallen leaves, listen to the rushing creek, the birdsong, the crickets. Know that you belong, that we all belong together.