Monday, April 21, 2014

Write About The Place Where You Live

The Flint Hills

We spent last week in the Hill Country of Texas. In some ways, it reminded me of the scenery where I live. There are probably more trees and bushes in the Texas area that what we have here in the Flint Hills of Kansas. We're known for being tallgrass prairie. 

You often hear about Montana being referred to as the Big Sky country. That's true, but the term applies to this area of Kansas, too. As we drive the four lane road the nine miles out to the interstate, we're surrounded by the prairie grasses, the hills, and the amazing sky. It always makes me wish I could reach out and graps a handful of the sky. Occasionally, there are cattle close enough to see but usually, it's the natural scenery that makes my heart soar. The vastness alone makes me feel so very small and inconsequential. 

The prairie grasses change with the seasons, a glorious green now after the spring burning. Yes, they burn in early spring to allow the tender new grass to emerge. I've read that this new grass will add extra pounds to the cattle that graze on it. As long as it's a controlled burn, there is great beauty in the blazes. The charred earth left afterward lets those who pass by know that the new grass will be coming up soon. In the fall, the grass gets dry and has a rust-hued tinge to it. 

National Geographic has featured this area as have TV shows and other magazines and books. Artists and photographers spend hours painting or snapping pictures. Ours is the largest stand of tallgrass prairie left. That fact alone brings biologists and paleontologists here to study. 

One day, when we were driving through the Flint Hills on our way to Topeka, I felt so overcome by all that surrounded me that I wrote a poem, submitted to a state contest and won first place. 

A Heavenly Gift

One calm and peaceful day
the hand of God
passed over the land
we know as Kansas,
this place where the
hills meet the plains,
where sweet prairie grasses
bend and sway
like ballerinas amidst
soft and gentle breezes,
then dance wildly
when furious winds blow.

The Lord God pulled the vast
skies close to the ground, like
a soft coverlet of blue.
He gave us air to breathe
so clear the stars can do
no less than shine in
glorious reply
through velvet nights.

Over these hills and
across these plains,
the Creator scattered
many-hued wildflowers
and treasured trees in
all the right places.
His mighty hand
carved brooks and
streams alike.

With grateful heart
my prayer of thanks
soars Heavenward from
this very special place
that I call home.
The point of all this talk about where I live is that each one of you lives somewhere that has something unique about it. Look around you. What is your area noted for? Write about it. Let others know what it is about the placewhere you live that warms your heart and makes you proud. It may be more concrete than grass but that's alright. There is beauty of different kinds in different places. There is something that says home to you. 

Make this your writing exercise one day this week. Share it here with me and other readers if you like. Make us want to come and visit the place where you live.

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