Friday, August 10, 2007

A Prairie Trail

Green Lake, Wisconsin. -- I am writing from a resort in Wisconsin, but (to keep with our chronology), I am recalling the events of a few days ago, on the prairie.

John has already written about our reasons for being in South Dakota, where John spoke at a Spiritual Forum in Rapid City and where we stayed for two nights at the prayer camp at the foot of Bear Butte. So I am just adding a few impressions.

Now I have to admit that I do not like camping as a rule, being quite fond of the comforts found in say, a nice Holiday Inn or a cosy bed and breakfast. But the experience of camping on the prairie was lovely in a lot of ways. First, and most important, because of the warm welcome we received from the First Nations people there. Second, because of the gentle breezes that kept the heat at bay (even though they threatened to blow one tent away).

Third, as an Ontario resident, I had never really seen the grasslands up close or realized how rich and colourful they are. Black-eyed Susans are the flower of choice there, growing by every roadside in the hundreds. There are plants with little red berries (I don't know the name) and others that have elegant brown thistle-like (but not prickly) flowers. Best of all, sage grows alongside the pathways, and across the pathways too, so that, as you walk, it is as if your footsteps are always raising incense.

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