Jeri Walker is an author and editor who I’ve know online for a few years. Last year she launched her second blog, Arresting Imagery as a free writing prompt service using pictures. In this post, I’m using her picture entitled Early Bird.
I imagine the west, during its younger days, was filled with quietness and simplicity of life. Clocks would have rarely been on time, and it was probably wiser to go by where the sun shone in the sky. You may ask what would happen on a cloudy day. Unless you’re close to the Pacific Ocean, there are, indeed, very few days that don’t have that bright ball of fire peeking through sometime during the course of a day, even in the shortest days of winter.
Life wasn’t easy back then, and I’m not taking about make complex decisions. Questions like how can I make this skirt last until next Spring when I’ll have the money for fabric; there is only three pieces of meat in the stew and somehow it has to feed four people; will the walls hold in this terrible storm. Still, life meant so much more then. Each day really was brand new. Life, despite all the hardships, wasn’t filled up with ‘what ifs’.
The mornings are brilliant and yet, almost noiseless on the high plains of the west. You can nearly hear the sweet-smelling air around you. It’ll catch your breath, if only for an instant. The dew dots the prairie grass, giving it a shimmer equivalent to diamond chips spread out on a carpet. The creek’s edge is damp where the water had been during the night. Now that dawn has broken, the water shies away from the tall reeds. The ink tone of the water has turned to the color of light mud.
Although I’m a true westerner, I’m always a little stunned by the coolness of the morning breeze, even in the height of summer. I’ve been told it’s because of the higher elevation of the land. Why is it then that the air isn’t like this in the higher elevations of the eastern United States where I currently live?
As the morning wears on, the creatures of this paradise can be seen nibbling on the clumps of sage brush and milk thistle scattering the landscape. In just a short while, the wildlife will wander off. I’ve always wondered where they hide out at during the middle of the day. I can see them one minute, turn around, and they’ve disappeared. Yet, if I come back to the same place in the late afternoon, they’ve all reappeared.
If the land in this picture was mine, I’d build a house near the small gathering of trees in the background.
The one you thought would fight for you and love you more than you’ll ever know, is the one you never thought will hurt you the most. — unknown author