We’ve had a couple beautiful days at the ranch lately. Things are starting to blossom up around here, making way for the butterflies and bees and bugs. The birds have found their way home and so have the pair of geese that live in the dam outside our new house. I’ve been spending my evenings strolling through the coulees to see if I can break the record I set of 25 wood ticks crawling on my body at once.
It seems I’ve always known just where to find them.
But the wood ticks are pretty much the only black blotch on what is my favorite season. Wood ticks and the burdock weed, but I figure I can take a few heebie jeebies and invasive plants in exchange for wild purple violets,
horses with slick spring coats,
rhubarb and blue skies.
The thing about spring around here is that it moves fairly quickly, so you’ve got to catch it before the bluebells wither up in the heat of the day and those familiar birds fly south.
Against the backdrop of late spring everything seems to come alive, and with the windows open in the house I am invigorated and inspired. Because we wait for this warm sunshine all year and northern prairie people everywhere don’t take one “Goldie Locks” day for granted. No, we busy ourselves with lists of things to do before winter rolls around.
And in the summer around here that can mean chores and projects of course, but more than anything it means living out in it.
Because man could not build a better space for us to exist in. No roof can compare to the comfort and drama of the rolling clouds that threaten a few warm rain showers and promise a blue sky that always comes back to us. Families seem at ease here in the hills alive and buzzing with the sounds of life and change and growing things.
The wildflowers are a welcome home present that appear overnight, the grass our living, breathing carpet.
In the creek the minnows appear like magic and along the banks sprout blossoms promising fruit.
A prairie spring is a world that cannot be replicated. It is a world that is so far from the drastic howling winds of winter and the brown and sleeping earth, that you would swear you were living on a different planet just two months ago.
In those months I felt like a down coat and wool socks, steaming hot chocolate and melty white marshmallows.
A dumpling in warm soup.
But today I feel like a garden. Like a picnic, a cold drink, a bratwurst on a lawn chair.
A warm breeze.
The sun soaked queen of the barnyard.
I want to stand on the hills with the horses, facing the wind to keep the flies away, the only concern for the day.
I want to run close to the ground with the pug, smelling the things he smells, allowing my heart to pump hard, my tongue to hang out, my delusions of grace and agility to run rampant.
I want to jump in the dam with the lab when the heat gets too warm on my skin.
I want to taste what the bees taste.
I want to sit in the clouds and cast cool shadows all of it.
I don’t want to live in this season.
I want to be it.