Thursday, June 13, 2013

Spring into Summer

photo of prairie wildflowers
© harrington
Hi! Happy Summer. Are you enjoying it? Since tomorrow's forecast calls for late day thunderstorms followed by rain on Saturday, this may be all we get this year. On the other hand, with a little more sunshine, the roadsides and prairies should soon start to look like the picture above. A few wildflower-weeds are blooming along our roadsides. It's probably time for another trip to Wild River State Park to see what's happening on (in?) their prairie restoration. Have you ever thought about how easily we can destroy prairie and how much work it is to restore it? Of course, if we never made mistakes, we'd never have an opportunity to learn from the ones we make. Lately, as I've been reading about bioregionalism, I've been thinking more and more about the differences between being and becoming. From what I think I've learned of the world, stasis is not an option on an ever-changing Earth. "You can't step into the same river twice." [Heraclitus] This, then, feeds the question of being compared to becoming when we think about rootedness in a place. This isn't to suggest there is no such thing as native. Clearly, there is. I was born in New England, actually in Massachusetts, one of the six New England states. I have lived in Minnesota for most of my adult life. When I return "home" from time to time I don't necessarily feel at home in all my old haunts (You Can't Go Home Again, Thomas Wolfe). Neither am I a Native Minnesotan, although I continue to become more of one. As with many things, perhaps we are looking at both nature and nurture, since many who were born in a place often fail to appreciate its qualities. Perhaps it's like the successional stages of plants following disturbance of what had been there. Perhaps, like the seasons and succession, it is an ongoing dance of adaptation and adjustment. Perhaps becoming native means being sensitive to, aware of and openly embracing  where we are at any moment. Perhaps, for now, I should leave you with this Spring Song fragment of becoming. Thanks for listening. Rants, raves and reflections served here daily.

Spring Song

By Anonymous
Translated By Frances Densmore
As my eyes search the prairie
I feel the summer in the spring.
Source: Chippewa Music II Bulletin 53 (1913)