New essay “Holarctica” at Essay Daily

Delighted to have an essay about Nebraska at Essay Daily as part of their #Midwessay series. I write about the pains of leaving the upper Midwest and the beautiful joys of the prairie.

According to Nebraska pioneer folklore, to cure any illness in cattle, hang bittersweet around the animals’ neck.
     On a hike in a nature preserve, after I see a penned-in herd of buffalo grazing lazily in a greened-over pond, I find a strand of bittersweet growing wild along the trail. I stop and look up. It really is spears of pink light here chucked down from heaven. The buffalo snort, indifferent to my presence. A Cooper’s hawk circles above, hungry for field mice and toads, clearing the path ahead. I put a wad of the bittersweet in my front pocket and carry on. It’s still too early to see if it’ll make any difference at all.

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