Sunday, September 21, 2008

Spirit of Dakota

Good morning. This edition of the newsletter comes to you from the South Dakota Quilters Retreat, at the Crossroads Hotel and Huron Events Center in Huron, South Dakota. Wesley & I are vending here this weekend. So far, it's been a wonderful weekend, as we've reconnected with dear friends and made new ones. As usual, we brought way too much merchandise, and our booth is "packed to the hilt" with quilt kits, fabric bundles, yardage, patterns, books, and notions.

All weekend, I've been enjoying the "Pride of Dakota" sculpture gracefully set on the lawn near the main door of the events center. This morning, I did some online research, and learned that "The nine foot bronze sculpture "Spirit of Dakota" which stands at the entrance of the Crossroads Hotel & Huron Event Center, is the source for the state-wide Spirit of Dakota Award. Dale Claude Lamphere, nationally recognized sculptor and artist, is the creator. This sculpture of a pioneer woman balanced against the wind was unveiled and dedicated in October 1987 by the citizens of Huron and is the unique possession of this community." (Source: Spirit of Dakota Award Society)

Each fall, the Society bestows the "Spirit of Dakota" award on a deserving South Dakota woman, based on leadership, courage, and strength of character, and other honorable attributes. The recipients of the award receive a small scale version of the sculpture.

Earlier today, I went out into the cool morning air, camera in hand, to take a photo of the sculpture for the newsletter. I spent a few moments admiring her. My attention was captured by the look of determination on her face, and her muscular arms portraying physical strength and stamina. Her sunbonnet reminded me of the long days she worked under the hot sun, in the fields and the garden. Her long flowing skirt, impractical and cumbersome, is a steadfast reminder of her femininity. She gazes into the distance, always looking ahead, as though she is working hard today so that her children may have a better tomorrow.

With a bit of sadness, I tore myself away from the serene garden, and my time with the sculpture. Another busy day ahead... newsletter to write, suitcases to pack, goods to load up in the car and trailer, and a six hour drive home. But, as I put "one foot in front of the other", I'll appreciate this beautiful Dakota morning and the "Spirit of Dakota".