Tuesday, August 7, 2012

August Dreaming on a Summer's Day

The blue cup of the sky is above me, deep and infinite with that intense blue that only an Alberta sky is capable of. The water breathes against my skin cooling my body as the sun heats my face. Behind me the snap and pop of caragana pods bursting is a sharp counter point to the chatter of birds crowding the weeping branches. High above the cry and echo of the hunting hawks pierce the somnolent dance of the afternoon. The land lays dreaming under the sky as do I. The ripening barley ripples in the wind as it sweeps out of the west.
Great anvil thunderheads gather in the north, beautiful in their power they tower thousands of feet in the air. The tops white and silver touched with gold, darkening to pearl and gray and finally the dark plum of bruises as the behemoth nears the bottom. Somewhere, there is hail and rain and strong wind, but here on my little bit of prairie the sun shines and the breeze dances in the delphiniums of my garden. I dream with the land of the days when the buffalo were spread across the undulating landscape. Moving to the rhythms of the seasons and the earth beneath them. When the storm demons lash the earth buffalo do not run before the storm like cattle and horses do but instead turn those shaggy heads and massive shoulders into the storm and meet it head on. Rather than be driven by the elements, buffalo challenge it and by going against the wind travel through the weather and emerge on the other side into the sun.
A hawk settles on the fence post nearby and takes my attention from the buffalo memories to focus on the fierce feral golden gaze. The bird preens his feathers for a bit and then stretches his wings wide. In a single motion the hawk is airborne and floating on the updrafts, circling the city of gophers by the slough. Tiny whistles of alarm ring sharply into the dust gold air as the dark shadow slides over the prairie grasses. August dreaming on a sunny afternoon, peace and stillness spilling over me.

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