Friday, November 19, 2010

People experience the Flint Hill wonders

I often wonder why people travel so far to see wondrous landscapes when we have the Flint Hills a short drive west from Kansas City. This expanse of grass and wildlife, rolling hills once at the bottom of an ancient sea still resonates with a liquid quality now an ocean of waves that grow from roots twelve feet deep. And the meaning is deeper.

Deeper for those who live there and love the land, deep for us that have the opportunity to hear the grasses swoosh. People need to see this like they need to breathe but they only realize that when they stand on a hill at look at those Flint Hills. People who live there are as much a part of this as the prairie grass for you’ll not find a more loving people devoted to the land, not their land, the land, for it is and they are here to nurture it while it nurtures them.

Flint Hills Overland Wagon Train tour company recently took a group of local Girl Scouts on a jaunt through the waves, cooked meals, told stories, and opened many young eyes to this wonder of our world. Simple pleasures of friendship, tastes, aromas, wind, the feel of ancient grasses, the sound of birds, the stillness in this immense scale of land. Authenticity as a word is over-used, but in this case those who use it may be humbled to utter it in this setting. People of the land, as D.H. Lawrence learned, speak infrequently because their words pale in the presence of land that speaks volumes in a more articulate way.

Times are lean all around. In the Flint Hills, small business shrinks, too. The land will always be there, standing patient like the people who live there. Both beckon. Both have something grand to share. Do something authentic….drive west and keep your eyes wide open.

Have a look at this wonderful slideshow by Rachael Jane...

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