Beau March 2nd, 2009
Time to catch up after a busy weekend- and it has been a cold few days! The signs of spring continue to surprise me… this morning a red-winged blackbird had joined the gathering of birds at the feeder, returning to its summer breeding site near the pond after a winter somewhere else. Technically they are listed as year-round residents in our region, but all I know is that by October-November they are gone, and don’t return until March. I wonder where the blackbird has been and how far the journey was. It could be just down the street for all I know, but I suspect the southern wetlands of Missouri and Arkansas provide more comfortable winter accomodations.
The chores are piling up and now it seems spring is coming almost too fast. Ornamental grasses sure are beautiful to look at but not much fun to cut back! I need to come up with a better approach- I straddled this big clump between my legs and used a little chainsaw to cut through the heavy stalks.
We’re almost out of wood completely after such a cold winter. But that’s a good thing- I don’t like to keep old wood around because it attracts too many critters that live in or around woodpiles. The next few months will be time to remove several dead trees on the property and to begin the wood-cutting cycle once again. Of course we’re still thinking about what to put in the garden, and that’s kind of exciting. If we were really on the ball we’d be planting starts from seeds… haven’t done that very successfully before. Do you buy starts or seeds each year? Somehow I like wandering around the garden center looking at little plants, but maybe we’ll try to plant some seeds this week indoors too.
Over the weekend we had our annual cub scout birthday banquet and ceremony for the kids- they received their advancement badges and other awards, and performed some really cute skits. Makes for a long day, but seeing the excitement and pride in their eyes is so worth it. We did have one young scout drop out last week and I was disappointed. He was new and only made a few meetings. He didn’t really spend enough time participating to have a rounded view of the activities we do, most of which involve character development and learning practical things. We also play games and have craft projects, and the kids usually love it.
His mom wrote me an email and said he just wasn’t comfortable and she was disappointed too. As the den leader, that gave me a little pause for reflection on how to work with the kids in a more constructive or well-rounded fashion. We started off with about 6 kids last year and now have 10 scouts participating. I understand people are different, but I wish I knew what I could have done to help him enjoy the experience more.
I also find myself thinking about how we close off opportunities in our lives for one reason or another. Looking back I’m sure I did that at times when younger, and probably still do it without realizing it. We put so much “in the moment” especially where emotions are concerned, and if not careful our perceptions are colored in ways that really may not be accurate.
What if you never knew that green or fall-colored leaves existed?
When we make decisions based on those short-term perceptions or emotions, we may be doing so without seeing what’s really going on. Sure that could be a good thing at times, keeping us out of trouble or on the right path as we trust ourselves and our intuition. But are we semi-rational creatures subject to changes in our emotions that affect our experience each day? Or are we emotional beings that use intelligence and rational thought to help navigate through life? Depends upon the person perhaps, but certainly a little of both.
More often I think we miss embracing the fullness of life, especially when we are personally or physically challenged, and we have that little voice inside that knows we’d like to do something, yet we keep making excuses… but, except, I can’t, if only, I wish, I don’t know how, maybe… and we hold ourselves back.
I was fortunate as a youngster to have a wonderful family that supported many opportunties to explore and grow. I also had many incredible experiences and met other people who challenged me in ways that proved very helpful. At some point in my life I realized there were few absolutes or real answers, and that Emerson had it right when he said that, “Nothing at all will ever be attempted if all possible objections must first be removed…”
So between the fear, the misgivings and the uncertainty, I began to question and seek what it really was that I wanted in life. All I knew was that some things make you come alive in thought, vision and experience and we are not on this earth forever. All I know is we can be active creators of our experience- we can be whatever we want to be in our lives! And that questioning and exploration has been the seed to every aspect of growth… coupled with a willingness to learn of course. It’s not a journey that ever really has a destination. Just when you think, “I’m here! I finally made it…” life will surprise you and present some new challenge or opportunity.
The older I get I find myself both more and less certain about many convictions once held. I feel humbled by so many things, and thankful for so many more. I walk outside and breath the cool, fresh air of the morning, and hear the birds sing. It’s a new day, and regardless of the challenges that exist I feel such an enormous sense of appreciation.
I watched our son fixing his bowl of cereal this morning, and running around feeding the animals. Is there a pride greater than that of a parent for a child? I don’t really know. He carried the flag through the audience before the cub scout ceremony started this weekend. It was his first time to do that- and afterwards I asked if he enjoyed it. He said, “Uhuh…” and I asked if he was proud of himself, “Uhuh….” and I told him we were proud of him. I asked what he was thinking about while carrying the flag, and he said, “Umm… like 250 people were watching me!” I laughed, understanding the feeling. “But you did it, didn’t you?” And he smiled.