Ode to the Black Hills

So here’s the little piece  that I wrote when I thought we were going to move to Arizona.  But I still feel this way (and I’m glad I don’t have to say “goodbye” right now.  🙂 )

Ode to the Black Hills

by Christa Upton

I close my eyes and take a deep breath.
The fragrance of the pines, wild sage, and sun-warmed prairie grass
Fills me with happiness and, strangely, a longing for adventure.
I open my eyes and see the flash of blue wings—a Mountain Bluebird.
I watch the wildflowers nodding in the breeze—yellow sunflowers and delicate bluebells and purple coneflowers.
The huge, clear sky is stunningly bright blue.
I look toward the horizon; I can see for miles.
I walk into the cool woods;
The pines tower overhead.
Down below, among the fallen pine needles, smooth gray slate and pretty rose quartz entice closer inspection.
The path strewn with sparkling mica reminds me a little bit of heaven’s streets of gold.
I hear the squeaky call of an animal—I’m not even sure if it’s a bird or an animal like a squirrel, but
I love its wild music.
I hear the knocking of a woodpecker
And the tiny chirps of chickadees—
Enhancing the symphony of the forest.
I hear the rush of wind in the pines—high and lonely.
For some reason, it makes me think of people who lived here long ago.
They saw these pines, heard wind like this.
They had hopes and dreams;
This forest beauty must have inspired them.
My own memories come to me—two sets of loving grandparents
Taking us to hike and picnic in the Hills
To see the funny buffalo and cute prairie dogs,
To drive through deep forests along winding roads that feel more like one is hiking than driving,
To swim in the lake, play along the river, enjoy the secret springs hidden among brambles and trees.
Prairie and hill, meadow and forest, mysterious cave and sparkling lake.
Mountain stream, natural bubbling spring, warm river, wild animals wandering free.
Summer evenings—cool dusk, crickets, brilliant sunsets.
The Black Hills—one of God’s masterpieces.


Christa Upton     Black Hills Picture Books        PO Box 293        Custer, SD   57730

About Christa Upton

I am a wife and mother of three children ages 11, 14, and 18. I used to be a stay-at-home mom (teaching piano & dance, volunteering, etc). From 2007 to 2010, I suffered accidental Toxic Injury (also called Multiple Chemical Sensitivity or MCS). MCS has had major impact on our family, but the forced time in bed has given me time to write. So far, I have published 4 children's books (2 in e-book format on Kindle, one in Print-on-Demand at CreateSpace, and one printed by a local printer). Sometimes I miss my old life, but I love writing for children!
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2 Responses to Ode to the Black Hills

  1. Jill Scandroli says:

    Wow! I’m impressed & moved by your poem. Well done my friend your words literally planted me there seeing it vividly. Such great thoughts and appreciation for God’s Handiwork. Your land looks like a piece of Serenity. You & your family deserve it! I couldn’t find more pictures of the Black Hills id love to see the pics or how to get a book with pics. Best Jill

    • Christa Upton says:

      Aw, thank you!!! I agree–the land is a piece of Serenity. SO thankful to God and His servants who helped us. You are so sweet. (Did you click on the “photos” tab on this site? More pics there.) The children’s book with Black Hills pictures is here at my house. 🙂 And I think some BH tourist shops still have some. Maybe Bear Country or Big Thunder Gold Mine?? (None of the pictures in the book are posted on this site. 🙂 ) If you’d like to order one from me, just give me your address (email me at steveandchrista@yahoo.com) and how many copies. 12.95 each, about $3 shipping. (Free shipping for 3 or more copies.) Paypal or check is fine. Sorry it took me so long to get back to you!!! I sometimes forget to check for comments!

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