Daylight ushers in blue skies and sunshine. Those who subscribe to the Julian calendar mark today as the third day of the year 2012. Chilly westerly winds deliver an invitation to roam the Llano Estacado. Cooper and I answer the call of the wild. We rove cattle and game trails. In short order I am spellbound by the magnificence of the freeze-dried prairie forbs, grasses, and cacti. Old Man Winter deals bitter lots with blasts of wind, snow, and ice. Yet, the thrashing and chaos beget undeniable beauty.
Underfoot the red dirt accepts my measured stride with a soft surface cushion of soil fluffed up by moisture in reaction to freeze-thaw cycles. I leave inch-deep impressions and find numerous game tracks. Besides the obvious boon to hunters, I surmise several benefits of the crumb cake soil structure. The aerated top layer helps insulate the ground from subsequent hard freezes. And, the craggy surface facilitates seed penetration into the earth’s womb to await summer rains.
From the general direction of the rising sun several echelons of Canada Geese announce their passage with harmonious inflight chatter. They forego their familiar wedge flight arrays in favor of undulating strings of feathered aerial processions. Minutes later the rush of wings fades into the western horizon.
My eyes and focus return to the prairie. The last movement of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 in D minor drifts into my consciousness. A childhood memory, the German poet and playwright Schiller’s Ode to Joy, “Freude, schöner Götterfunken, Tochter aus Elysium…” flows from my lips. A year of great beauty and joy surely lies ahead.
© Ilija Lukić 2012
|Glory Days Revisited|
|Ode To Joy|
|Close Encounter (Cooper)|
|Splendor In The Spines|
|Thrashed By Wind, Snow, And Ice|
|Yucca Inspector (Cooper)|
|Shadow Of Your Smile|