On Being a Prairie Native

Technically I am not a prairie native, having been born in Michigan. But being the impressionable age of 6.75 when my family moved to Iowa, I think I am a prairie native. When I ride for miles and enjoy the rolling hills and the staritness of the roads, the immense sky like a dome over my head, I think I am a prairie child. The breeze freely moves past us without much blockage, although as you look acrss the horizon you see the uprisings aropund a farmstead in their attempts to create windbreaks. And they do that to some extent. Twenty years ago we Dibers moved to Iowa and as my friend Mrs. B. said every time she answered the phone, “The DiBernardos are here and it’s a storybook day.” The other day I went to see her in her bed, weak and frail, just home from a short hospital stay. It was another storybook day. When I was young she taught us to keep track of our authors and Bess Streeter Aldrich, a prairie woman herself put it this way, and I think it describes the prairie and its ‘storybook days’ perfectly. It’s from A Lantern in Her Hand:

“There are weeks where drifting snow and sullen sleet hold the Cedartown community within their bitter grasp. There are times when hot winds come out of the southwest and parch it with their feverish breath. There are periods of montonous drought and periods of dreary rain; but between these onslaughts there are days so perfect, so filled with the clover odors and the rich, pungent  smell of newly turned loam, so sumac-laden and apple-burdened, that to the prairie born there are no others as lovely by mountain or lake or sea.”

I read an entire book pf BSA’s trying to find this quote. I came to my sister’s and saw A Lantern in her Hand and there it was on the first page of the Introduction. It pays to read introductions.

One thought on “On Being a Prairie Native

  1. What a great quote. I also like Grandma’s little house in the big woods. It makes me love the woods when I think of the walks through them with Grandma, parents, cousins, etc.

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