When I was a boy in Orange County California, there were still large tracts of open land. Cattle grazed on Irvine Company range right outside my first grade classroom. I frequently heard the song of meadowlarks coming through the open windows.

In the summer of 1980, the choreographers Judy Levine, Barbara Mahler and I produced a concert in Seattle and Portland titled Western Meadowlark. The dance that gave the concert its title was inspired by the lives of pioneer women. The dancers wore simple brown dresses and the set consisted of three handmade milking stools. The music was sung by a vocal trio of two women and one man accompanied by flute. The text was Denise Levertov’s poem “The Coming Fall.”