I spent a good many days
this summer
away from home,
learning how to care for home,
how to be at Home.
Home on the planet,
home with each other,
Home within.

It was a pretty good time
to be away from home
because it was so hot and dry
the normal summer work
was brought to a standstill.
It is good to be back home
on the farm
for several reasons.
For one, it’s cooler now
and with an inch and a half of rain
ten days ago,
the grasses are greening
a little.
Many of the grasshoppers have died
or vacated.
I relish the profound quiet
and the familiarity
of sweet country noises:
silent
flitting of Monarchs
and cats meandering;
the sizzling sound of Cicadeas;
the outrageous calls
of rooster and guineas.
I’m glad to be home now too
with a deeper sense
of what it takes to live sustainably.
I come home
knowing a few new things:

We live in community
even if there is no one around.

The Home within
is the most important of all.

There are many, many things we can learn
and do
to help the planet, each other.
The problem can be
the solution.

Too, I’m glad to be home
to work on figuring out
persistent wonderings:

Should people live on the prairie—
and how in the world did my ancestors do it
on the harshest days?

Will these new learnings work
here?
I listen to the wind in the Hackberry,
watch the towels fly, drying,
in the breeze.
I hear the cattle out in the pasture.
I see a dead pear tree
that needs to be cut down.
I see roses and lavender that died
and I wonder if they’ll come back in the spring.
I see plants that did survive
the horrendous summer
and make a note to get more.
I water the tiny seedlings
that will be a winter garden,
now that, as Oklahoma gardeners,
we are realizing summer gardens
may be a thing of the past.
The list of things to do,
new things to try
is growing
and growing within me
the desire to proceed,
with eagerness,
amid trepidation.
We prairie folks
have been at this just a little while
and there is so much we haven’t figured out,
so much we have yet to try.
With renewed and deepened understanding,
I will continue to practice
living in this moment,
being conscious of the oneness,
the unity
in which we live and breathe
and have our being.
And I will continue to learn
how nature works
and how we can thrive together.
It’s worth
a life’s work.