Our Turn at This Earth: A Moment to Relive Forever

“Our Turn at this Earth” airs weekly on High Plains Public Radio.

If you could relive just one moment throughout eternity, which one would you choose? I asked myself that question a few weeks ago, as I watched After Life, a movie by the Japanese director Hirokazu Kore-eda. In this movie, people who have recently died are instructed to choose a moment from their lives that will then be recreated on film and replayed,

Continue Reading »

Our Turn At This Earth: The Source of All Life

“Our Turn at this Earth” airs weekly on High Plains Public Radio.

Almost all of the watercourses on the High Plains are fed by the Ogallala aquifer. Each one of them creates its own paradise. Red-winged blackbirds trill from their perches atop tall reeds. Deer, pheasants, wild turkeys, and other wildlife wend through thick meadow grasses. Cottonwood and hackberry trees shade the water, which is usually so clear you can see fish swimming in it.

Continue Reading »

Our Turn At This Earth: What Looking At the Land Tells Us About Ourselves

 

Until I read the Native American writer Leslie Marmon Silko’s essay “Landscape, History and the Pueblo Imagination,” the word “landscape” had strictly positive connotations for me. Hearing it, I imagined broad vistas of land and sky. I grew up enthralled by such vistas and still am. But Silko’s essay rang so true to me that, ever since reading it, I can’t come across the word “landscape” without questioning the way that my culture looks at the world.

Continue Reading »

Our Turn At This Earth: The Night Darkness Returned to the Farm

“Our Turn at this Earth” airs weekly on High Plains Public Radio.

In my mid-thirties, while living back on my family’s Kansas farm after spending many years away, I couldn’t stand the automatic dusk-to-dawn yard light that blinked on each evening. In my childhood, we turned our yard light off some evenings just so we could gaze at the stars, and we always turned it off before we went to bed.

Continue Reading »

Our Turn at This Earth: Could This Be Why We Are Here?

 

“Our Turn at this Earth” airs weekly on High Plains Public Radio.

I don’t think I could have been any older than ten. I remember I was crossing our farmyard, in shorts, my legs, bare above my cowboy boots, slicing forward in a purposeful gait. Perhaps I was headed to the barn corral to catch one of my horses.

Given the nature of the thought that was about to stop me in my tracks,

Continue Reading »