These ARE the prairie mornings I live for. Cool summer mornings after warm summer days equal fog. Fog equals serenity and quiet, protection from searing sun, and slow contemplative moments stolen from hectic days. The sounds of the far off highway are stilled and construction on a nearby house has yet to recommence. Bird still rest, happy to remain grounded rather than fly against the moist and heavy air. I wander happily on mornings like this, isolated from the greater concerns of the world and listening to the smaller joys within, happy to live for a second in the moment. On workdays a relentless clock stays tied to my mind, holding me back from complete release. These foggy starts are even better on weekends, when nothing is waiting or undone that can't be started later.
Mornings such as these, the prairie waits. There is no sense of foreboding in the dense humid air, no haste to act. There is only calm and peace, dew condensing on thirsty grass, upright purple Verbena matching the somber mood of the moment. There is no hurry here, no rush to meet the end of summer. The grasses will change slowly, alerted to Fall by onset of these cool nights, chameleons forming the rusty colors that will be September's prairie. The forbs will form seed and droop to deposit future life into waiting earth. Prairie fauna withdraw, each in their own way, hibernation or migration, death and rebirth, cocoon or burrow.
Ding and Dong, the donkeys, did not violate the calm this morning with greeting brays, but walked over quietly to accept apple slices. They are kind morning companions, solid and steadfast, content amidst the grasses and wind. Dong was sleeping as I approached, stretched out on a bed of matted prairie grass, while Ding kept watch. I wished for a moment that I were Donkey, surrounded by plenty and living in the sunshine and fresh air, no plans, needs met, worries unborn. But the fog lifts, the demanding clock calls, and I cannot be Donkey for more than a moment, a fine stolen moment of ease.