A ruffled skirt and spindly legs twirled through the prairie grassland. My little Lizzie danced across the meadow like a nymph—her head barely visible above the bearded grasses. A twittering giggle united her with the songs of nature.
“Mommy, mommy, can you hear the wind?”
“The wind makes no sound, my love.” I stifled a slight laugh, wondering about her question.
“But, Mommy. I can hear it. Listen.”
I tilted my head to one side. The hot summer sun tingled on my face. The breeze was ever slight.
“Hhhmmm . . . I’m just not sure Lizzie.”
She stopped her dance and frowned at me. “Oh, Mommy.”
She reached out her hand, longing for me to join in her joyful abandon. We struggled through the high grasses, our heavy skirts catching on burrs and vines. Finally she stopped at what appeared to be a clearing in the prairie.
“Look, Mommy. It’s a deer bed.”
I smiled. “Yes, honey. It’s a special place where the deer have stomped down the grasses so they can lie hidden here.”
Whirling around and around in the clearing, she spun until she fell in a heap at my feet. We both laughed and I joined her on the prickly ground.
As I closed my eyes and absorbed that delicious summer sun, I began to understand what Lizzie meant about the wind. At first I only heard the thump-thump of my own heart; beating a rhythmic tempo.
“Can you hear the wind, Mommy?”
“Sshh, Lizzie. Let’s close our eyes and listen. Maybe we can hear more than just the wind. Okay?”
She nodded her approval and shut her eyes. Her soft breathing lulled me into a trance. It was only in this near-hypnotic state that I finally, truly heard the music of the prairie.
It was sunshine and breezes. It was twittering birds. It was silken green grasses and scratchy vines creating a chorus of sounds.
Bursts of wildflowers dotted the landscape, proclaiming creation’s song, just like a beautiful painting declares an artist’s soul.
I marveled at the symphony my precious daughter had inspired.
“Mommy, what are you thinking?”
I opened my eyes and turned toward Lizzie. “I’ve been listening to the wind. You’re right. It does have a voice and a song. It’s all of creation—the birds, flowers, the grass—proclaim God’s glory. It’s an earthbound choir of heavenly design.”
Lizzie smiled, jumped to her feet, and twirled around me. “Yes, Mommy. Isn’t God wonderful? I love the wind.”
That summer day would be etched in my memory forever.
Later that same summer, my Lizzie died. Cholera swept through our community leaving many of us childless, but not hopeless.
Even now, when I return to the prairie meadows, I still hear Lizzie’s music. The wind does indeed sing.
It sings for me.
It sings for Lizzie.
And, it sings of God’s glory.
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