Yes, you’re going to hear me sing. So let’s get that out of the way. What if not only I but the prairie could sing? Sure, May peepers split my ears. August crickets strum day and night. And sedge wren, he may not like to be seen, but he certainly doesn’t mind being heard. So, I guess the problem is me. I’m not sure of what the prairie sings?
Does he sing of the days, years, centuries of glory, when grasslands rolled over every forest-rimmed hill?
Does she sing of the renewing flames, set so often by the peoples of the Land, the community of fire?
Does he sing of deep soil, the orgy of creatures beyond count, the ever-spreading mycorrhizal association-that vast inter-connecting web with no other name than life?
Does she sing of beauty to awaken the frosted soul, wave upon rolling wave of color?
Does he sing of thundering hooves, the grunt of bliss wallowing upon the abundance?
Does she sing of the great fall, so sudden, so complete?
Does he sing of lost loves---buffalo, bluestem, burrows---where are you, where have you gone?
Does she sing of plows, pavement and pastures of tortured grass?
Does she sing of cream gentian, rising from the dying soil, shouting “I am prairie”.
Does he sing of hope?
Does she sing of our little prairie, a glimpse into what once was, a hint of former glory?
Does he sing of the dream, where the community of fire and the community of communities, become one?
Since I still failed to listen, my penance then is to sing my own. Here’s the last two lines (This prairie song fills my heart) of Prairie Song written by my dear friend Doug Weatherhead for our Grand Opening Celebration.