Peace on the Prairie
By Elece Hollis
I lay in bed last night with my window open and I listened to the night sounds, the country sounds, the prairie sounds. No traffic—only quietness and peace: a dog barked and crickets chirped—no gun shots rang out, no fighting neighbors, blaring music, no traffic, no sirens blasting. Still I could not sleep.
I climbed out of bed and knelt on the floor by the window and raised the blind. Moonlight spread across the front lawn like frosting spread on a wedding cake—glossy and pearly white. Closer spots of light like puddles of spilled milk marked the sidewalk where light peered through the leaves and branches of the big oak. The grass under the tree was covered with splotches too, as if someone had spilled white paint in off-centered circles.
The air was cool and out of the north. The night was still, but permeated with mystery—an owl hooted—tree frogs sang a song— rising and falling and rising again.These are the night voices—a thousand voices strong blending in country peace and sweet harmony. These are the sounds of the prairie far from the city rudeness and light pollution, crime and fear. The moon glows, neon white. The stars glitter. Nature sings "tonight—tonight—tonight."I creep back to my bed.
Morning comes softly in the summer. A horse whinnies out in the pasture and a mockingbird perches on the limb of the oak tree to spill out her repertoire for us. Sunlight peeks in under the blinds asking: "Why aren't you awake? Are you still dreaming? Get up! Get up! The garden is waiting and morning glories have opened their blue trumpets to welcome you from the gate."
So I go. It is one of the most wonderful times of day. The grass is dew-drenched and sparkles in the sunshine like it has been strewn with cracked diamonds. A spider web stretches itself from the windowsill to the rosebush by the back door. Dewdrops glisten on every strand, studding it with light like the rhinestones on Liberace's jacket.
The rosebush itself is about to explode-erupt into an applause for summer. Sprigs of new growth stand topped with swelling buds about to unfurl like flaming red flamenco dancers' skirts. Red frills—red ruffles celebrating the coming of summer to the prairie—summer come at long last.
"God spreads a feast of light and color before our eyes each day, if we would only stand still a minute to see it."