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Dakota Miracle

Friday, June 20, 2014

There are still white bison in Jamestown, North Dakota. They're in a big enclosure at the National Buffalo Museum. As you're driving along Highway 94 headed west you can sometimes see them, if you're very lucky. I'd never seen them from the road. My friend Ann Hoffert, who drives there all the time, has never seen them from the road. 

So I'm coming out of Fargo and it's very late, getting dark, and I'm trying to make it to Carrington, 2 1/2 hours west if you go 75-80 mph. I'm exhausted and discombobulated and I've had things coming at me to accept and deal with that I simply can't. I've hit a wall. 

Out of habit and hope I search the hills around the Buffalo Museum as I roll along in my little white rented Ford Fiesta, hungry and tired and wrung out. 
And there on a ridgetop is White Cloud, the albino cow bison who is so famous she has her own sign on the highway. She was born the day before Phoebe, on July 10, 1996. She, too, is 17. The perfection of seeing her, when I'm missing my kids so much, overwhelms me.

I can hardly believe it. I want to take a photo of her. I pull over, hesitate. Should I run across four lanes of highway with my big camera? The way my luck has been running, I would likely end up a spot of grease on I-94. But I grab the camera, bide my time and dash across, in between roaring semi's. It's worth it to me to see White Cloud again.

She's really white, and looking healthy and beautiful. I remember her twisted little horns from the first time we saw her in 2008.
I'm so grateful that she presented herself to me this evening. I needed her. I look up from the viewfinder and someone is coming up over the ridge. Someone I remember.

I'd last seen him with his mother, White Cloud, in 2009 when he was a half-grown calf. You can read that post here. 

 He is no longer slab-sided or spindly. He is magnificent.

I cannot believe that Dakota Miracle has come up to meet me.

I start crying again, this time in joy and disbelief, and I can't stop. I feel these bison were waiting for me. I'm sure of it.

I try to be quiet so as not to alarm them, but fail. Miracle is curious, and he looks straight at me. Which moves me even more. I've never had a bison pay the slightest attention to me. They have always seemed above noticing a mortal. These white spirit bison, even more aloof.

Woman, why do you weep?

I've been here, waiting for you. The prairie is waiting for you. 

Go out in the wide open spaces. Look up at the sky. You don't even have to look up--look straight ahead, all around. At your feet. The sky arches over you. 

Breathe the clean wind, hear the meadowlark and the longspur, listen for the sparrows you love so much. Nature heals you at home. Here, even more. You'll see. The prairie is big medicine.

He walked past the World's Largest Bison.

And stopped to turn a kindly ice-blue eye my way. 

You have a long hard journey ahead of you. I hear that in your voice.

 In time, all will be well. Go now. I will watch over you.


He's right.

You made me cry again.

Such a smart and beautiful bison. What an incredible moment.

I so missed your posts while you were gone! Reading between the lines, it seems that you are going through something distressing, if I have read them correctly. Whatever it is, know that you are in my thoughts and prayers. You add so much to this world just by being in it, and I hope that everything will turn out well. How could it not, with the Bison watching over you?

Posted by Anonymous June 20, 2014 at 6:41 PM

He is right.

Oh. How wonderful. Whatever tough thing you face right now, I pray you will come through it stronger and better. Like a miracle.

I have said for years that Mother Nature will show me what I need to see. That's my explanation for bird outings where I see next to nothing or fabulous riches of birds. It's my explanation for a deer poised on the edge of a path as I round the bend or a single ray of sun bursting out of a cloud.
It's why I go into the woods or down a path or across the water with curiosity instead of expectations. Mother Nature knows what I need at any given time and it brings me such peace and joy to receive it.

Mother Nature really knew what you needed that day and I'm glad you received her gift. I hope whatever is hurting your heart is a bit lighter now.

Julie, that was a beautiful post. Nature really is the best healer, isn't it? No matter where you go, how long you stay away, or how much you change over the years, it welcomes you in with open heart and open arms, whether it's the dense tangles of a riverbank or the endless open space of the prairie. Somehow, nature always seems to provide exactly the right kind of inspiration, every single time. Whatever it is that you're going through, I hope that this magnificent, timeless spirit animal of yours has lightened the weight on your mind and heart. Thank you for sharing your experience in this wonderful post.

Nate Martineau

Posted by Nate Martineau June 20, 2014 at 8:19 PM

I knew we would all be moved by a story you would write about your return to the prairie. This is it.

I so identify with this story. I do find that daily God sends me gifts of nature to remind me He is there and caring --- mini miracles. And so often when I am truly troubled, something really special and unexpected appears. I pray you will get through your trouble. He is with you and somehow I feel it will all work out.
Once again thank you for sharing your story. Darlene

Posted by Anonymous June 21, 2014 at 5:28 AM

I so identify with your story. Had to dab my eyes a bit. Seems that daily God sends me little gifts from nature to remind me of His presence. Also seems that when I am truly troubled or weary, something special and unexpected appears -- my own mini miracles.
I pray your troubles will be resolved quickly and I feel they surely will. Thank you as always for sharing your heart with all of us. Darlene

Posted by Anonymous June 21, 2014 at 5:35 AM


Posted by Gail Spratley June 21, 2014 at 9:32 AM

Whatever it is has you so rattled, I'm glad those beautiful bison recognized how much you needed them--hart

Julie, I've missed your posts so much and grown more concerned with every passing day without a word. However, I knew in my heart you were doing whatever you needed to do. Please know that you are in my prayers. May your burdens be lifted soon. God bless. Robin

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