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.

Have you been touched by frost?

Late autumn frosts come with lace edged beauty, cruelly cutting down grasses and wildflowers, insects, tender life forms. But frost cannot destroy those living perennial roots deep underground that sleep in their dark bed of soil.

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Frosty wildflower leaves

If you have lived more than a few decades on this planet, you have known the icy fingers of frost. You have experienced the tender green shoots of life frozen by loss, hurt, trauma, betrayal…

When you fear all is lost after a freeze, life springs again from your roots, sending green shoots and leaves toward the light.  New life and growth and inspiration gives you new energy, new hope and courage to reclaim your power.

If your heart still beats in your chest, your roots can gather strength and you will live fully once again.

Dear one, you must have patience and allow the season of winter its full due. Take heart. Winter is a season of life, a part of each soul’s journey no matter where you live.

If you’ve been touched by frost, let yourself rest, conserve energy, let your roots gather nourishment and strength . Come spring you will feel and know the new growth within you, unfolding, reaching toward the light, inspiring you to live fully!

Patient like a tree

Can you be patient like a tree?

Can you stand steadfast when the storms rage? Can you set forth leaves blossoms and fruit when the season is right?

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Grandmother Cottonwood, dormant

Can you let go of the old, the superfluous, last year’s leaves when they no longer feed your heart and soul? Can you rest and sleep and pull your attention inward during the long winter, gathering strength for the growth to come?

Can you feel the magnetic pull of mother earth in your roots, allowing them to be pulled into the soil and subsoil so you will be anchored deeply to your home? No matter how high and wide your reach, your deep roots will keep you secure through all seasons and all weather.

Can you allow your branches and leaves to reach and turn to the sun, to soak up and absorb the life giving light and warmth? These precious gifts are freely given to you!  They are your birthright!

When you stand tall and steadfast, when you live according to your life’s rhythms, you bless this earth with your presence; you know you belong here, a vital element in life’s tapestry. You will endure!

Letting go

The season of letting go has come around on the cosmic wheel once again. I will soon release this year’s crop of golden leaves that soaked up the sun and fed me all summer. It is the time of the waning year, the waning moon. Time to let go.

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Grandmother Cottonwood, golden leaf

I must release my beautiful crown of leaves that shimmered in the breeze through sunlight and shadow, moonlight and midsummer heat. They will not needed during the cold dark months.

Releasing, surrendering, letting go – good practice for the final act of letting go that all living creatures must experience – a rehearsal for death, the great transition.

I bow to the cycles of life and death, to the inevitable. I make ready for winter, withdraw my attention from outward things, pull my awareness inward, down to my roots as my sap cools and subsides.

I will soon be ready for my winter’s rest, my dreaming time. There will be nothing to grasp hold of, no responsibilities, nothing to do or be or have, no agenda, no leaves to maintain. All the trappings of summer – released.

I may seem inert, even dead to those who pass by, yet deep inside, in my roots, below the surface of the soil, my inner hearth fire embers glow, ready to spring into life once again after the long winter nights give way to spring.

Did you live fully?

Did you live fully this summer?

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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.