Women on the Prairie Retreat

Friday evening,
during the Women on the Prairie Retreat,
we hiked up Zig Zag Lane
to the hilltop
and watched Earth roll up
and sun disappear.
In the night,
guests were surprised
that they could see
layers upon layers
of stars in the black sky.
In early morning,
we went out to watch Earth
somersault over
and the sun reappear,
in the eastern sky.
Hues of gold, orange, pink
weren’t the only showings in the sky.
In the evening,
we watched two Night Hawks
climb  high,
dive bomb one another,
then rise in flight again,
and again.
In the morning, we watched
Turkey Vultures glide,
the Great Blue Heron’s elegant flight,
a lone Scissortailed Flycatcher
and an unusually silent Mockingbird.
The giant canopy of sky
enlarges life
here on the prairie.
And it has been especially engaging
this year.
In February Venus and Jupiter
formed a bright triangle
with the dainty crescent moon
in the western night sky.
At the beginning of May
the moon came its closest this year
and, being full,
looked breathtakingly big, and beautiful.
Sunday night,
just as the bright orange ball of fire
floated above the horizon,
moon floated across too
and we gasped at the beauty
of seeing sun and moon together
in a solar eclipse.

Solar Eclipse from Turtle Rock Farm

And the year’s sky spectacles
are not finished.
June 5,
Venus will transit the sun.
This will not happen again
until 2117.
There’s information
about when you can see it in your area
and how to protect your eyes,
Earth needs our attention—
and, it seems, knows how to get it!