Note from Priscilla: I am delighted to welcome guest blogger Julene Bair, whose essays on connecting with the prairie lands of her birth caught my attention for bringing heart and soul to the problems of the disappearing family farm and the depleted soils and waters of the high prairie. Her book One Degree West is available on her website, and she is nearly finished with a new book, Water in the Desert. This essay appeared in The Land Report and is reproduced with permission from The Land Institute.
I love Julene’s last line, which for me called to mind a question I heard David Abram pose recently: “How do we keep faith with matter?”
THE GENIUS OF THE GRASS
An Ex-Farmgirl Goes to the Prairie Festival
by Julene Bair
When I say that I come from western Kansas, where my father grew wheat and raised sheep, people often tell me how bored they were on their last drive across the Plains. I agree. The Plains are boring now that the land has been plowed into an almost solid patchwork of corn, soybeans, and wheat. But when I was a child, there were still many pastures where buffalograss knit itself over the ground like a woolly tapestry. I could imagine the days when the pale grass rolled toward the horizon, infinite green meeting infinite blue.