The Kansas Flint Hills encompass the Tall Grass National Prairie, a magnificent open space that extends from Texas through Oklahoma and north through Kansas and Nebraska. It’s a place that allows you to reconnect with Mother Earth when many of us spend too much time surrounded by technology and concrete.
Poet Trish Moon Beem from Grand Island Nebraska writes beautifully of this area in words that I have often tried to pull from my own muse. This prairie, she says, is a place “where the Earth breathes and the sky comes down to greet us.”
Those who don’t understand that sentiment probably don’t hear the music of the prairie – the susurrus as the grasses and wildflowers sing to the birds, insects, mammals and reptiles that are the musical instruments of the prairie.
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Symphony in the Flint Hills of Kansas
The second Saturday of each June, another set of musicians perform in the tall grass prairie of Kansas. They are members of the Kansas City Symphony and the event is the Symphony in the Flint Hills, an evening when Mother Nature and Mankind join forces to celebrate the special beauty of the Kansas prairie.
The precise location varies each year. In 2019, it’s in a pasture in Chase County, a little south of Cottonwood Falls. The concert is always out in the middle of nowhere, a remote pasture where the earth takes a deep breath each day. But on this night, the Kansas City Symphony performs under the stars to an audience of 5,000 seated on hay bales, lawn chairs and picnic blankets.
The house lights are fire flies and the concert hall is secured by cowboys roaming the open range.
The Symphony in the Flint Hills is a remarkable experience that should move the harshest of souls. But don’t wait until next year to hear the music of the tall grass. Plan a visit any time of the year to the national park unit in Cottonwood Falls Kansas that celebrates this special place “where the Earth has room to breathe and the sky comes down to greet us.”
You may begin to breathe more deeply as well.