>meadowlarks and opera


Where there are trees, at one time there were settlers. Meadowlarks sing the same songs today they sang seventy years ago. This is what my parents remember and so I believe it to be true. But what about the meadowlark song  from a time before planks were planed and carted off to build a homestead, before Montana was a state?
Our songs remain the same. This might not be true, even still I like the idea of walking out into these fields that once felt my great-grandmother’s footsteps, whistling the meadowlark song she might have once whistled as well.
 On the other side of Birdtail Butte are the remains of an orphanage from the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. This is where she grew up. Notice the Opera House. Montana is the land of nowhere, and yet — here in the middle of nowhere, an Opera House was built for the orphans.
Great-Grandmother Nellie never knew me and it’s doubtful she knew my father or  his brothers. But still, we come back and whistle.

About redmitten

author of Cracking Geodes Open, Making Good Use of August, and The Peppermint Bottle. poetry editor for IthacaLit. website: https://toomuchaugust.wordpress.com

5 responses to “>meadowlarks and opera

  1. >History is such a haunting place. Full of "what ifs" and "who knows"…I could spend many happy hours wandering and whistling around these places…An opera house! Out there! Who'd have thunk it? Love that first photo. Reminds me of that mountain in Close Encounters.

  2. >What could be conjured knowing there was an opera house for orphans, in the midst of remote green. A place to go and whistle and wonder if the song is the same. We certainly arrived here with our dreams intact, didn't we, and tried to build the world we imagined wherever we landed. Makes me think of Herzog's FITZCARRALDO, his impossible vision, built around music. A piece to set one thinking…

  3. >i can hear you whistling in the land of nowhere — and i am enchanted by this opera house for orphans. what mind would think of that, and so glad they didyes — agree with kerry about the butte — definitely reminiscent of devil's tower in wyoming. and marylinn's point about fitzcarraldo – your story does conjure up images of that. wonderful, haunting post.

  4. >I love the Opera House on the edge of town. Perhaps it was built for the Meadowlarks.

  5. >Hi Sherry,I enjoyed reading this post, and your reflections. I'm also fascinated by the Opera House, wondering how far people traveled to fill it. Did people come from all around, or were there enough orphans?

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