Sometimes it takes a 3-year-old to make me see what’s right in front of me. My Granddaughter Hannah and I took a walk out to the prairie this weekend. To me, the prairie looks brown. Flattened by wind and snow. There’s not much going on.
Hannah saw something completely different. She waded right in. “What’s that?” she asked. “That’s Indian grass,” I explained. She took a frond and waved it over her head. “What’s that?” “That’s a dried cone flower. Want to pick a bouquet?” “No. What’s that?” “That’s an aster; they’re purple when they bloom.”
The fallen plants I could ignore as I stepped over them with ease were waist high to her. “Just step on it!” I urged. “I step on it,” she agreed, marching on.
We spotted a butterfly, small and brown/gold. A little early in the season, I think. But there it was, flitting about too quickly to be caught.
We flushed a rabbit. It heard us coming and shot out of the undergrowth like it was fired from a cannon. Hannah scrambled after it, unable to catch up, but passionate to try.
Every bit of my dried out, used up, blown down, patch of prairie was something for her to enjoy. I’ve been looking past the brown, eager for the new green shoots of spring and the brilliant colors of summer. It took a 3-year-old to show me there’s good reason to visit the prairie and enjoy all that’s there right now.