Daughter of the South Wind

Since I was on the subject of weather so much this week, I decided I would re-post an essay I wrote while back when someone asked me to explain why I call myself a daughter of the south wind...this is an account of a drive I took in early June 2006:

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 to a small town up near the Nebraska border. It was an amazing journey!

This is historic country with lots of ancestors speaking to me all the way. I 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. For a long time the French were the only immigrants who could live here comfortably.

The Spaniards came with their swagger and gold lust; but they were driven back by the fierce, wild Kansa tribe 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. The gold of this land was the endless sea of golden prairie grass that held a fire he would never understand. The riches were the amazingly productive cultivation of the Wichita tribe. Even the bountiful harvest they offered in peace did not impress his greedy soul beyond the sustenance it provided.

On the way home, I drove 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. I 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 lightning dancing everywhere across the front. The chain lightning 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!


Carolina Gonzalez said...

What a pleasure to read! Your are daughter of the south wind and also Speaker Of Wise Words sister!

Youvegotmaille said...

Wow, you paint a vivid picture. I'm a big fan of the sky, as well. A guy I dated once told me "you taught me to look up." It makes me sad that some people never really seem to. Great post.

Anonymous said...

Wow - to live in such a beautiful place. I love the 'big sky' too. And that's a great picture of a thunder cloud. (Been seeing afew of those round my way lately!)

Janet Campbell said...

Oh how I wish it would rain here! I listen to a rain sound machine to get my fix when I'm painting. My dad is from Topeka and I agree Kansas is beautiful. I'm glad you like the Leo Kottke on my blog!

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