A simple Saskatchewan beauty￼
Land of living skies and simple landscapes, Saskatchewan holds a unique beauty to be appreciated
by mason hausermann, contributor
There is an emptiness that can be found here. In the lands where the bison once roamed with a thundering command, now there is just the lone coyote calling for his mate. The whiskey jack may sing breaking the ever-present haunting silence, as white tails stalk around the decrepit grain elevator. There is a beauty to be found here.
The barley fields illuminated by the morning sun are baptized with dew as a mourning dove ascends to the heavens with its melancholic song. Perhaps the odd creek or thicket remain, haven for the mallard and drumming ruffed grouse, respectively. There is nostalgia found here in the bailing, card playing, or late night working in an old shop until only the overhead lights pour out into the dark Saskatchewan night.
To travel on any dirt road, one is accustomed to the sight of an old farmyard. The traveler’s eye may catch the most minute of detail. Alone an abandoned farmhouse rests; its siding barren from exposure and time. Weeds populate the barn and tool shed, chamomile and dandelions grow wild where the cattle once proudly stood. The dugout rests unmolested, safe for the muskrat and wood frog who reside in its sandy bank. Isolation is a common theme when describing the prairies, an endless flat plain that travels straight to the horizon, unbreakable. Perhaps this isolation is the beauty – open country, a final frontier, a wild west.
The Main Track Café rests where highway 13 intercepts with the 39. Its patrons consist of all kinds; old farmers talking about the good old days, filled with early mornings and late nights in the field that have now passed; a long-haul truck driver might pull over and stop here for a bite to eat before he hits the road and continues his long journey once again; a traveler might get a coffee before he travels onward upon the endless prairies. In small towns like Avonlea, Kamsack, and Halbrite there is mystery and intrigue that would make anyone stop and ponder what hidden treasurers lie within the town; that pondering following the traveler as they continue to drive through the golden sea of canola.
A train whistle cry can be heard throughout the prairies, or perhaps the soft sputter of rainfall cascading down the front of your windshield, or the static hiss of the radio, only slightly being able to make out Hank Williams coming through your speakers. Life and death are commonplace in the prairies; a gopher racing across the asphalt towards the safety of the ditch in the summer or a fox stalking a field mouse under the winter’s heavy snow. There is an isolation found here, where the lone towns rest peacefully in the shadow of old grain elevators. There is beauty found here, where even during a lonely car ride in these empty lands the sight of a doe with her fawn will remind us of the beauty of the isolated prairies.