Dear Wild Prairie,
How I love to see God work in you. I love to watch Him change and renew you.
On an April morning, I walk between two rusty gate posts into the past. The house once built here by homesteaders is gone. Steps, which a child once sat on to pout lay discarded on their side in the grass. Someday, they will break down and disappear.
The grass, once kept neat and trim, is waist high. The briars have begun there repossessing of the land. Weeds, wild berry bushes, and milkweed mix with a few enduring domestic plants over the burial ground of the past.
Small trees have taken root where they will grow unnoticed under the old trees that once held children’s rope swings and provided shady play space for little girls creating mud pies; shade trees that helped keep the house cool and made a porch into a leafy retreat for family to gather and rest in after a hard day’s work. These big trees will be toppled by wind and time and the small trees will have their day.
Yucca plants, blue iris, daffodils and daylilies still herald spring here and speak of summer and whisper of the past. Rocks circle a dry pool where little children once clamored, capturing lizards, and frogs on happy carefree afternoons.
A tired housewife laid her baby to sleep in a shaded spot and sat on a slat-backed chair enjoying the quiet time shelling peas for supper. Her husband has taken a trip to town to sell produce from the back of his old truck. Her older daughter is out back pulling weeds in the garden. Maybe a son is busy chopping wood for the winter ahead.
She’s enjoying the iris, takes in a whiff of its fragrance, almost overshadowed by the honesysuckle trundling along the fence. She plans to divide the iris and plant more on each side of the new gate her husband put in this year. The gate that the prairie has bent, that rain now has rusted, that is missing from the iron posts that sit like an a book cover encasing missing pages.
That was long ago. You and God have ongoing plans for this spot on the prariie. Every year the past is further erased, and someday the farm that once sat on your welcome mat will be completely forgotten; not one person living will know it was there.
In the meantime, I will walk here and ponder the past, the courage in the face of hardships that our ancestors possessed, and the love of beauty in a human heart that planted iris.
Love You, Elece