Thursday, June 21, 2018 – Prairie

This—the landscape of home—would lure me back with its winds and desperate clouds and endless expanse . . .

Linda Joy Myers, Song of the Plains, A Memoir of Family, Secrets, and Silence

The map on the navigation system in the car is void of anything. There are no lines indicating roads or railway tracks; no bodies of water or parks; just a whole lot of nothing at all. We’re in the middle of nowhere

Like Navi, we don’t know where we are either. We’re driving down gravel range roads and township roads with no specific destination in mind. Now and then we pass a falling-down barn or a gaggle of shiny silver granaries; sometimes a grove of trees hiding a farmhouse; but for the most part, as far as the eye can see, there is just endless prairie.

Now and then Gerry pulls over and stops the car. The silence is loud in my ears as I step out of the car. I pause, breathe deep and slow in a way I don’t anywhere else, then pull out my camera.

I shoot roads and railway tracks and vast and endless prairie, capturing images that will feed me when we leave this place. Gravel crunches under my feet as I wander around in contented awe. The warmth of the sun embraces me, and the smell of the dust takes me way back even as it anchors me in the here and now. In all of this, I lift my camera to my eye now and then and press the shutter button.

This vastness, this unobstructed view  in which I see past and present and possibility, is the sweetest sight in the world. Here, in the southern part of Saskatchewan, where it’s flat as flat can be, I look into the distance and see truth.  I feel the tug of my roots growing deeper; I know the endless love of my Creator. Here, I am me.

We return to the car and set off again. We turn left, heading south, now and then; then right, heading east, some time later. We’ll end up at Highway 39 eventually, and it will take us north back toward Moose Jaw. We’re in no hurry. For now, we drink prairie and it is more than satisfying.

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Today, we resume the LLF vacation. Colour me excited.

Word wrangler. Photo taker. I'm here early every morning with one of my photos and a few simple words. | Nulla dies sine linea: not a day without a line. | Coram Deo: in God's presence
6 comments
  1. Sounds wonderful Colour me happy for you. 🙂

    1. Thank you, Celine!

  2. Linda, I am just discovering, in my new-found hobby of genealogy, that my great grandparents moved to Saltcoats, Saskatchewan in the early 1900s, and registered for a homestead. I wonder how they felt when they looked around at the lone prairie as they traveled West! I knew they eventually lived in Regina, but had no idea about when they moved there, or what motivated them. I’m excited!

    1. I often imagine what it must have been like for those first homesteaders—and for those who braved the mountains. They were a tough bunch for sure. Good luck with your research—it’s fascinating to look back and see where we came from. We find ourselves.

  3. Beautifully written, Linda. We have expanses like this in North Dakota. Sometimes sunflowers as far as the eye can see, sometimes other crops. And someone wrote in a meme – “so flat you can watch your dog run away for a week.”

    1. Funny, one of my cousins used that exact phrase last week!

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