Monday, June 8, 2009

My solitary moments at the Pawnee Buttes

Whenever you are sincerely pleased, you are
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

My hike around the Pawnee Buttes was a welcome time, as I try to return to the Buttes at least once a year. Funny, I grew up in the area, but never visited the Buttes until I was in high school. The area is so rich in history that I can't help but think of early settlers and others who passed by the Buttes, or visited, as I did for the solitude and a few peaceful moments.

The Buttes are a funny landmark, as you almost don't even know they are out on the prairie until you come up on them. Seeing them on the prairie is startling and causes the viewer to pause and catch their breath to take in the scene. Even though I have seen them many times, I still gaze in wonder at their beauty.

The meadow larks, larks bunting, and other singing prairie birds seem to welcome everyone close by (and there are not many people there). Prairie dogs pop up to see who is intruding and occassionaly a snake might slither by and give me a startle. Hiking on the prairie and enjoying the greeen spring grass and the blooming flowers causes my mind and my inside voice to quiet. I think that's why this hike, and so many others, are so peaceful- they allow for us to find peace with ourselves and our surroundings.

Aren't we all in a constant search for finding peace with ourselves? I know once I am out in the open, I can release all of the anxieties of my life and let them float away with the wind. I also know that finding that peace makes hiking and being in the outdoors something I crave, so I can continually find that inner peace.

Each time I go to the Pawnee Buttes I find the peace I need to return to my normal life. I can't wait to go back again.

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