Friday, August 21, 2009

Watching the World

A Bit of Meditation

The poem Caroline posted on my last blog entry...if you haven't read it yet, do drop by... It's worth it. Very accessible, unlike a lot of poetry....and this from an English teacher...made me think.

How many times do we rush our way through life not noticing things? How much beauty and how much ugliness escape our vision because we simply pass by? Time presses us on, forcing us to keep appointments, meet deadlines, keep promises, all while the world spins under our feet full of wonders we may never see.

In the morning now, the wild turkeys seem to be waiting for me to come out to put some seed at the bird feeder for them. Now that I can get close enough to notice, I have begun to marvel at the sheen on the Tom's breast, and how strong his legs look. When I was a child, we were taught to color Thanksgiving turkeys with all kinds of colors in the feathers of their tails. Some of you might even remember "making" a turkey picture by tracing your hand on paper and then coloring the feathers into your fingers.

As I grew, and saw real turkeys I thought how foolish we had all been. Turkey's feathers are the colors of the earth...brown, gray, dusky...and not at all the flavors of Crayola crayons. But perhaps it is true that as we grow older, we revert to our childhoods. Now, seeing the Tom from ten feet away, my eyes are caught by an iridescent glimmer in those feathers as they capture a rainbow in the morning sunlight. The eyes of childhood were not so wrong after all.

I used to do an exercise in class during the first week of school to teach my students a lesson about all of this. I would give them a very simple line drawing of a tree. It looked a lot like a lollipop. I told them the first homework assignment was to simply use two colors of their choice to color that drawing. They needed to make the tree look as real as possible using only two colors, one of the trunk and one for the leaves. If they didn't have crayons, they could just label the picture with the two colors they had chosen. They would be graded on how real (NJ real) their trees looked.

So, here is your challenge. What colors would you use for your tree?

Come back tomorrow for the rest of the lesson.

We just had a huge downpour pass through. OK, so the barn is open with three stalls. There are run-in roofs on both sides as well. There is a run-in shed at the end of the riding arena.

Horse logic. Toby was under the west side run-in, at the end by the paddock. Tucker was under the tree by the run-in. Chance was kind of under the apple tree.

Could we share? Nope. Horses don't share. Horses are self-centered about stuff like that. Survival of the fittest and all that, I guess. Herd boss picks the best place to be and everyone else has to make do.

Then again, maybe the rain felt good. The heat has been unbearable and has not eased off much at night either. And, when you think about it, Chance didn't have such a bad spot if you don't mind getting hit on the head with falling apples....which do taste pretty good, even when it's raining.


  1. Purple trunk silver/grey leaves.

  2. Anonymous7:04 PM

    Gray trunk/reddish/golden leaves.

  3. Kate got it before me.

    Grey trunk/orangeish leaves

    It is supposed to have storms today and then cool down ...cannot wait!

  4. red trunk golden yellowish leaves (not NJ, that, I know! but i have one in my garden....)