Sometimes the Classroom is the Lesson

May 22, 2015 0 Comments


I live in Iowa. Right in the middle of the Great Plains.

Thousands of years ago, glaciers delivered rich black earth, carved the mighty Mississippi and Missouri river beds on each side of the state, and created a magnificent piece of land between.

Buffalo, elk, and wolf roamed the grasslands. Native American Indians followed the seasons across the rolling hills. And, peace prevailed.

Then came the American Land Rush and settlers changed the face of the plains. Within one generation, rich and lush prairie was tilled into fertile farm ground and the Great Plains became the world’s breadbasket.

Lois Sulgrove Moore and Bruce Moore

My Grandparents 1917

My ancestors were part of the transformation. Most likely refugees from the Scottish Highland Clearance, the McQuies, the McCulloughs, and the Moores knew how to live off the land and thrive.

None of this made any difference to me, until recently when my husband and I took a drive to the Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge in Prairie City, Iowa.

Set on 8000 acres, the refuge is dedicated to restore native Iowa ecosystems of tallgrass prairie, oak savanna, and sedge meadow,  habitats existing prior to settlement.   As we drove around, I was deeply moved by the beauty, the peace, and the power of the land. Leaving the refuge, I understood like never before, how blessed I am to live on hallowed ground.

The early Great Plains plants, animals and people sustained and blessed my homeland. Their essence still wanders among us.    On this Memorial Day Weekend I honor all who have gone before and bless those who will come after.-b





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