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 UptonI 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. Peace. The Black Hills—one of God’s masterpieces.
Christa Upton Black Hills Picture Books PO Box 293 Custer, SD 57730