Musings about the RoseWind Landscape


I feel quite proprietary looking over the RoseWind Commons. I have been working on the land: mowing, weeding, building, and planting, and this has changed my feelings about it. I have a real stake in the way things are now. And waking here at RoseWind, eating breakfast outside, watching swallows swoop, feed, and glide, watching a goldfinch perform and show off, and hearing the cry of the red tailed hawks and the raven's throaty croak, all change me.

I am a part of this land now; I am in it, and it is in me. I delight in it, and I fear for it. We are changing it every day, and I will miss the things we eradicate with our changes.

I will miss the tall grasses in the wind. The sea of seed heads, a blending of greens, burnt reds, and bleached wheat. I can watch the sunlit waves of grass for hours. Yet this is the grass we now mow regularly, hoping for a natural succession that will transform our fields with softer, shorter grasses. We will not struggle to wade through waist high heavy stalks, or endure the sharp attack of heavy seeds shaped like lawn darts, which work their way into socks and pockets to poke our tender skin. We do not want to fight the strong blue green stems and heavy roots as we weed our paths and gardens.

I only hope that the white crowned sparrows will find food in our changing landscape, where they now feast on bountiful grass seeds, or sing swaying from the sturdy tall stems. Will the swallow still find food here, and return next summer, and the summer after, to raise their young? Will the hawks still find it worth their while to make a slow spiral over the RoseWind commons several times a week? Or will we tame the field too much? Can we make room for ourselves, our food gardens, and our concept of beauty, without driving out the birds? Can we build up our thickets, and add edible landscaping to provide habitat for more than just ourselves?


I am involved in this land; this pale green bowl of grasses. The shallow valley curves upward to a crown of dark evergreens on the rise where the trees meet a matching curve of sky. Sunlit tufted clouds dot the curve of blue, and sail smoothly above the fiercer wind below. We know winds here. We bend with the West wind in summer, bowing with the grasses and bushes, curling ourselves Eastward, backs to the wind. We turn inward, self-protective, chilled even in summer. Then we turn back after all, defiant, to face a precious sun, grateful for its remaining warmth and its setting glory. We stiffen our spines, and face into the wind to watch the lengthening shadows stitch the dark green bushes to the pale green grassland.