Monday, August 25, 2008

Welcome to Dakota

If you meandered down the left side of this blog and read my "profile", you saw that one of my favorite books is Dakota: A Spiritual Geography by Kathleen Norris. Kathleen, and her husband, were young poets living in New York when a family member in Lemmon, South Dakota passed away. They offered to move to Lemmon and manage the farm interests thinking it would be a short term adventure.

That adventure turned into many years building a new life that was grounded by a growing love for the prairie landscape and the inertia of rural life. Dakota captures the wonder of the Great Plains -- the harsh and the sublime -- eloquently told through the eyes and soul of a poet.

Scattered throughout the book are "Weather Reports", reflections on how nature and the elements bring beauty and hardship in equal measure. Below is the report for March 25:

Mud and new grass push up through melting snow. Lilacs in bud by my front door, bent low by last week's ice storm, begin to rise again in today's cold rain. Then clouds scatter in a loud wind.

Suddenly, fir trees seems like tired old women stooped under winter coats. I want to be light, to cast off impediments, and push like a tulip through a muddy smear of snow. I want to take the rain to heart, let it move like possibility, the idea of change.

I thought of "Weather Reports" today because it was such a blissfully beautiful day in the flatlands. And while I sat on my porch and tilted my face into an unexpected breeze, I knew I could never begin to capture the imagery that comes so naturally to Ms. Norris. So to honor her and to honor the gift of this day, I repeat her words with the hope they drop into the open arms of a grateful reader.

1 comment:

DL said...

Nice words for a balmy day. But seriously, are you planning on dropping the Pat and using only Pyzahn? it seems know, like "Pyzahn Forever" or "Later, Pyzahn" or "Postscripts from Pyzahn" or "Pyzahn Prattles On." Anyway, something to contemplate from the porch. Thanks for sharing. DL