Omaha and Lincoln, Nebraska — my first time there a couple weeks ago. Most of the state’s population is in those two cities. Otherwise, lots of open space, farm land, corn and soybeans sprouting up and some beautiful rolling hills, which I didn’t expect. And prairie grass.
Along with lively conversation among friends, great food, fun walking the University of Nebraska campus, the two images that remain vivid in my mind’s eye are the cloud formations and prairie grass.
Against a bright blue sky, white puffy clouds dotted the sky, hanging in still motion, mesmerizing. At the same time they seemed majestic, they also seemed light and soft. They drew me into stillness.
The prairie grass, which covered the landscape when Lewis and Clark arrived in 1804, continues to thrive. The stems are thin, tall and sway in the wind. We learned that prairie grass roots can reach down 12 feet under the ground. They are nature’s natural protection against soil erosion and soil blowing away in stiff winds. They also go deep to find water.
I couldn’t help thinking about this relating to Tai Chi. We use the image of rooting like a tree in Tai Chi and that’s a great image. But now I have another image — the slim, gentle, wavy prairie grass, rooted deep beneath the earth. The deeper the roots go, the more stable the tree, the prairie grass, and we are, on and above the earth. Earth energy nourishes us and calls us to be in tune with nature.
I am grateful for this unexpected discovery and for the beauty and the lessons that the clouds, the trees and prairie grass of Nebraska teach us.
Photos by Jennifer Davidson (Thanks Jen, for introducing me to Nebraska and prairie grass)