Seven Years of Meadowlarks

I’m trying to be grateful for what I’ve had, and not complain about changes that I knew were coming. But still, it’s hard to be mature and philosophical when meadowlarks, foxes, hawks, coyotes, and wildflowers are involved. The mosquitoes are not going anywhere, I might add.

The land around my day job is being developed. Yes, we are in the middle of nearly no-where, but the family sold part of the parcel, and developers have started building enclaves in nearly-nowhere. The sale was a few years ago, but getting county approval, plans, and that sort of thing took time. Meanwhile, cattle grazed, birds throve, and we had un-blocked sunrises and sunsets.

The heavy equipment moved in last fall, but a half mile from the school. I wasn’t happy, but I could live with it. However, they have started cutting a new road through the field full of wild sunflowers. It will provide access to the new houses, and some businesses.

As I waited for the big earth-mover to get clear of the county blacktop, a meadow-lark began singing from a fence post, letting the world know who owned the land. And I lost it. I pulled over and wept for a few minutes. It had been a less-than-great day already, and here was a meadowlark singing as if the world would never change, as a bulldozer and grader flattened the land he and his mate will need in a few weeks.

Change comes. Sometimes it is good. Sometimes it is not what we want. I knew change was coming, that development was filling in the pockets of pasture as the smaller cities started to sprawl. But I want my meadowlarks, damnit. I want hawks, and possums, and ground-squirrels, and ducks and frogs and lizards and wild flowers, and clouds of redwinged blackbirds on the sunflowers. I want to look out the classroom windows and see nothing but cattle and sky and grass. I’ve had that for quite a while. I should be grateful for having had it.

Yes, development may bring more students. Yes, the playa will not be developed (not holding my breath on that one). Yes, I knew it was coming. Yes, for some people it will be a good thing.

But I’ll miss the meadowlarks. I already miss them. I can almost sympathize with the people who stand in front of dumptrucks to try and block development.

My head understands. My heart is very sore.

9 thoughts on “Seven Years of Meadowlarks

  1. I understand, I was the only house on a dead end road when I built here, now I have all sorts of neighbors. I try not and complain (too much) because I hate the people who always want to tell other people what they can do with their own property.

    Doesn’t mean I have to like it.

  2. *hugs* Cities are great, up until you can’t get away from them, eh?

    There’s a significant part of my heart that’s gleeful that the 100-year flood line runs through a chunk of my back yard, meaning the meadow behind it will be hard to develop. If I won the lottery, there’s a good chance I’d try to buy the parcel just to keep houses from ever springing up there – because I don’t want a bigger house, but I don’t want to stare into someone else’s kitchen windows, either.

    • I’ve that cities are like ionizing radiation – can be useful, but long term high intensity exposure is unhealthy.

      A friend and I agree that the “civilization begins at the city limits” but we do not agree as to which side is which.

  3. I’m sorry to hear this, and as trite as it may sound (not meant to be), I feel your pain. Nearly nowhere is getting harder to find. I want to get as far into it as I can when I retire.

  4. Sorry to hear that, but you will have the memories, unlike those who grew up in a city and never saw the things you’ve seen and enjoyed. I know that’s not much consolation…

  5. I feel for you, and weep for your loss. Treasure your memories.

    I grew up on two acres at the edge of a small town, and my cousins laughed at me for having such a tiny yard. My childhood home is now a row of apartment building in the middle of a growing city.

    I still remember the call of the whippoorwills and bobwhites, and how the frogs in the pond were so loud they kept me up at night.

Comments are closed.