Wednesday, April 2, 2008
Daughter of the South Wind
Continuing the archived blogs...this is one from summer of 2006, a recollection of one of my best days in recent memory:
There are days, in early summer, when Kansas is almost as beautiful as Scotland, and our history-although much younger than Scotland's-sings in my spirit...today was one of those days. I drove nearly 250 miles (round trip) today up to Marysville for a "Merry Meet" picnic with some wonderful new friends. I had a lovely time at the picnic, and I also enjoyed every minute of the drive.
On the way up, I went straight north on 75 and across on 36. This is historic country with lots of ancestors speaking to me all the way. I saw places I studied about in my recent Kansas History Class and imagined myself back in the days when the Native American and European cultures still lived in relative harmony up in these parts.
The French trappers and traders understood the prairie...they came and lived on the land, not trying to dominate or tame it. They also adapted to the native ways of life, didn't try to force change upon them...and for a long time the French were the only ones who could live here comfortably.
The Spaniards came with their swagger and gold lust; but they were driven back by the fierce, wild Kansa and a land that held only spiritual riches. Coronado couldn't understand that the seven cities of Cibola were indeed cities of gold- but not the kind he craved...they were the endless sea of golden prairie grass that held a fire he would never understand...they were also the amazingly productive cultivation of the Wichita tribe, but even the bountiful harvest they offered in peace did not impress him beyond the sustenance it provided.
On the way home, I drove down 77 along the backside of a line of towering summer thunderheads. That is by far the most amazing scenery in Kansas- our changing skies:). I saw rainbows, mushrooming cumulonimbus heads, fierce looking scud clouds, and eventually the wild and sensual mammatus clouds billowing out of the underside of the anvil of a mature storm.
As I turned east toward home, I chased the rain back into Topeka...watched the sunset splash amazing colours on the still wet landscape- deep greens with glittering silver and gold drops everywhere.... and paint the sky vivid sun-god colours of gold and orange.
Once the darkness fell, I was treated to the light show...this line of storms was riding the cool front across Kansas, and stretched from as far north to as far south as I could see. There were pockets of lightening dancing everywhere across the front...The chain lightening that seemed to fly from the ground up into the clouds and dance from storm to storm illuminated my path homeward....
There are days when I am in awe of the privilege of being a 5th generation native Kansan...and am proud to call my self a daughter of the south wind...today was one of the best!
(Originally posted: Sunday June 18, 2006 - 12:35am (CDT) )