Wide Open Spaces

Today it is 104 degrees in Arlington, Texas, where I am visiting my son and his family. Everyone is working, so I find myself keeping company with a variety of dogs. We won’t be going outside much because of the heat. Later, when it begins to cool some, children and grandchildren will begin to arrive for dinner. They are a busy, noisy family. Carrie and ‘Poppy’s’ house is the center for family gatherings that include swimming and fireworks on the fourth of July.

“The stars at night, are big and bright, deep in the heart of Texas.” Well, not so much anymore. Wide open spaces are not so wide, and stars have dimmed some because of bright street lights. Outdoor workers swelter because it is hot during summer and water is the new gold. Air is dusty from bulldozers and giant earth movers. Thousands of people are moving here every month. If a person can’t find work, they aren’t looking. There is employment everywhere.

As the building boom continues, more and more prairies are covered with concrete and asphalt. Sadly, the Lone Star State, along with the rest of us, it seems is being gobbled up in the name of progress. The buffalo, deer and antelope, prairie dogs and coyote, will have to roam elsewhere.

I’m thankful that I can remember small town America when kids lay on blankets in the yard at night counting stars. Now, interstate highways and parking lots cover our prairies and we, along with the critters, try to adapt to fewer trees and less space.

The important fact to consider is this, nature can heal us. A walk in nature will lower our blood sugar, help to lower our blood pressure, help us to lose weight and the added bonus…make us happy.

On the east side of Zearing Park in Princeton, an honest to goodness prairie exists, and right now it is in full bloom. One can see butterflies and birds and flowers. It’s Mother Nature at work. To imagine, Illinois used to be covered with prairies like this gives pause. Wilson Seed Company from Tiskilwa planted this extraordinary gift to us.

Take some time soon and treat yourself to Zearing Park and the prairie. It will be good for you. An added benefit would be to turn off the cell. Just sayin’, Betty

If you truly love nature, you will find beauty everywhere...Laura Ingalls Wilder


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