TALL GRASS PRAIRIE
INSPIRATION ON A LATE SUMMER DAY
Sometimes You You Go Searching For Inspiration. Sometimes Inspiration Searches For You.
The road suddenly gives way to dirt and rock. The gravel crunches under your wheels as you shift down and slow your pace. It is a time for caution but also a time for beauty and truth.
You have entered into a world where rushing causes disaster and taking it easy causes revelation. It was easy when the road was smooth. You did not worry as the asphalt sang beneath your wheels. But easy does not last and now is the time to test your mettle.
Something ahead has caught your eye, it lies within the tall grass along side the road. You stop and get off your ride approaching you notice that it is a beer can. Anger rises in you, how dare they trash this beautiful place.
You pick up the trash and throw it into your saddle bag. Mounting up you continue your sojourn into this magical land knowing that you helped it survive one more day.
The tall grass of the prairie surrounds you and soon you feel the need to become one with it. Finding a side path you pull in, off the road and start walking out into the land.
It is late in the day on an Indian Summer afternoon. Gathering clouds threaten rain but you don’t care, time has stood still for you, the air is as it should be.
Your thoughts are silent, not really congealing in any form, yet you know that within this world that you have entered there is harmony. The Tall Grass cannot survive without the Golden Rod, the Golden Rod needs the insects that travel from yellow plume to yellow plume.
Indigo Fire Plants live with Wild Daisies while their neighbors, the Blue Bells, look on. Bear Grass surrounds the Live Oak helping it stand and hold the soil they call home together.
The deep roots of the Cotton Wood Tree seek out water and give shelter to the birds that flit among it’s branches. This is their world and they have welcomed you into it. You know that you can only be a part of what is their home as long as you can live in harmony with the denizens of this land.
The shadows grow long and you know, though you don’t want to, that you must return to your scooter and continue on your journey.
As you top a rise you see a sign up ahead, “Scenic Overlook” you chuckle to yourself, you don’t need to pull over and look, you have been intimate with this world that has welcomed you.
As you pass the overlook you notice a couple of pick-up trucks and a half dozen “Red Neck” types drinking beer and tossing the empties into the prairie. You want to stop and say something to them about how they are trashing what they have no right to trash. But there are too many of them and you are only one.
As they watch you pass you make a mental note to go back that way and clean up their mess. It’s the least you can do for this place that so graciously welcomed you.
As the miles roll by so does the red Sumac and the purple Thistle, keeping the sides of the road marked for you in their dusky colors.
Soon you come to a T in the road and you know this is your turn around point. A sign at the juncture tells you that if you go west you will leave the prairie and head off to a distant town where the highway once again rolls on. Another sign points the opposite direction stating, “Tall Grass Prairie Headquarters”. You make your decision and turn the big bike in the direction your gut tells you to go.
The Park Ranger listens to what you say, thanks you and radios the Sheriff’s Department. As you relieve yourself in the rest room you hear the tires on the big 4×4 turn up the road as the Ranger heads out.
Back on the road again you idle along back the way you came. The sun is hanging low in the west and it is time to go. As you approach the scenic overlook once again you can see the red and blue flashing lights of a couple of Sheriffs cars and the Park Ranger. One of the “Red Necks” is picking up the beer cans and putting them into a trash bag while the rest, in hand cuffs, stand by watching. You travel past not acknowledging the drama.
As the sky turns purple, pink and blue setting the clouds on fire you come upon a herd of grazing Bison. You keep your distance and watch as they do what nature intended them to do. They snort and grunt creating a symphony of prairie music against a backdrop of glorious color.
Your tires have left the hard pack dirt and you are once again on the asphalt, safe back in your world that those, in the Tall Grass world you just left, know nothing about nor will they ever enter.
You will tell your friends of the Tall Grass Prairie and the drunken “Red Necks”. You know you did the right thing, you protected the prairie, you protected the ’Red Necks” from themselves but most importantly you may have protected someone from an encounter with a drunk driver. You smile in satisfaction, this was a good day and a good ride.