Sometimes it’s a relief to look at summer photos when we’re well into January. And, if you’re in the southern part of Manitoba, which has a lot of flat prairies and some flat marsh areas, it’s always interesting to see what stands up above the crowd.
In late spring last year, a couple of friends and I visited Oak Hammock Marsh, north of Winnipeg. There’s always plenty to see when you get up close with prairie and marsh landscapes—there are all manner of plants, flowers, birds, and animals.
But what I really love about travelling through flat land is when a tree or shrub decides not blend in with the rest, instead it dares to stand up above it all. What lovely audacity!
I think of the strength and character a tree must have to survive, actually thrive, through winters on the Canadian prairies. There are no leaves for protection, as the north winds blow stinging snow sideways across the land. Yet, come spring the buds push their way out and leaves unfurl.
And it’s also something to live through the summer prairie heat, high water, and low water. To ignore human activity—the digging, cutting, building, polluting.
It reminds me of people who are different, who speak up, and who we can’t help but notice. They stick with it, no matter the adversity, and they make a difference. We need them to wake us up, to keep us going in tough times, to lead us. To stand up strong above the crowd.