I love iconic images of Americana (i.e. The Grand Canyon, Texas Longhorns, The Giant Redwoods).
The “American Bison” is one such iconic image. Can we, of this era, (we who call “Animal Control” if a stray dog shows up out of place) come close to imagining the sounds made by of millions upon millions of bison as they rolled across the prairie? Can our minds even wrap around the sight of these unchecked animals moiling in movement for days…..as they come into view and pass into the horizon? Pondering such thoughts….adjectives abound: “Majesty”, “Power”, “Nobility”.
I find a dichotomy, of sorts, with the bison. Here is an animal, one of the most powerful beasts on earth, yet it is not a predator. It’s content to be left alone, eat grass and move on to the next range to graze.
I like to think that what our nation holds as the “American Spirit” can be found and witnessed in the bison. Here is power in the individual, instincts towards protection of self and others, oriented towards family and not predatory.