Sunday, August 26, 2007

Three Observations

There were three things that caught my eye today. No...there were three things that AMAZED me. They were simple short snippets of the day that made it interesting. They were such everyday occurances, that no photos were taken. Yet, now in the quiet of evening, they are replayed in my mind. Without further ado...and in reverse order of occurance...

3. While sitting on the front porch and talking to my mother on the phone, the sun was down and a golden glow was fading over the trees lining the pasture behind me. The moon, approaching full, was rising over the front yard and casting shadows off the shredded remains of what once was our high grass. This is the time the toads pour out of their holes and parade to our porches. While talking on the phone, a caterpillar about 2 inches long was slowy ambling diagonally across the porch toward me. Then a toad suddenly changed direction. He saw the caterpillar and headed straight toward him. After several short successive hops, he stopped next to the caterpillar and sat very still. It looked like a stare-down at a gunfight. Then the caterpillar disappeared. It was there. It was gone. The toad was staring at the caterpillar. Then the toad was staring at where the caterpillar was. Just like that. Toads are clumsy-looking, but they've got skills.

2. In the shop, the plastic tool box full of bike tools, parts, and oily rags was closed, but not latched. It appeared the plastic in the vicinity of the left latch had been roughly filed. A small slot about 2 inches long and a quarter inch high was left between the bottom and top of the box. That was odd and deserving of further investigation. The tool box was opened. There was a similar area on the plastic tray, same roughly filed look, same missing plastic material. Then the roughly filed appearance started to look more and more like something had chewed the plastic. If something chewed the plastic, did it want to get in my box? Would it still be inside? After carefully inspecting the contents of the tray, it was lifted out of the box. He wiggled his wiskers and stared out from the rags at me with his black beady eyes. A mouse had decided to move in to my toolbox.

1. Pulling into the church parking lot, the car pointed across the parking lot to a row of neighborhood houses. In the short concrete driveway of one house nearby was an older gentleman. He had a stooped posture and was using a walker to help him travel. He had made a trip down the driveway to fetch the newspaper. He was moving extremely slowly. His steps were very deliberate. It looked to be a major effort to move at all, yet by the time he caught my attention, he had arrived at the newspaper. It took considerable effort, balance, and coordination of body and walker to bend and pick up the newspaper. Then it took a surprizing amount of time to position the newspaper in the frame of the walker so that he could use his hands to operate the walker, turn it around, and begin the journey back to the house. As I watched, I was amazed at the amount of planning, work, and time it took for this gentleman to simply fetch the paper. My initial reaction was sadness for cruelty of aging. However, after spending a while watching him, my sadness was transformed into admiration for his initiative, determination, and persistance. This gentleman taught me something today about self-respect and the honor of performing a simple task under enormously difficult circumstances. He did it because he could.

1 comment:

  1. Welcome, City Boy, to the country. :) We have a plague of grasshoppers in Josephine & when I mowed the back of my acre last weekend, I must have disturbed a rat's nest....he scurried toward my neighbor's yard. HA!

    Can't wait to see your place. Way to go Janet---the tractor! You look very 'at home'.