Yesterday, our youngest turned 13. Let that settle in for a while.
As Lady and I rambled off this morning, I chuckled to myself and thought, “It was time.”
And rather darkly thought of T. S. Eliot, just thinking of that uptight Anglophile makes me think darkly, but for better or worse some of his poetry sticks with me, such as the lines I didn’t understand when I studied them in my 20s. I mean some lines from his “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock.” Such as these:
I grow old . . . I grow old . . . I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled.
But even more the time of Eliot’s “The Waste Land.” I think subliminally I pulled my signature tag line “It was time” from the “II. A Chess Game” section of “The Waste Land” in these lines:
HURRY UP PLEASE ITS TIME
I digress. But time is on my mind. The youngest became a teenager a couple months after I hit 60. Let that sink in too, 60.
But that 60 is partly why I am back to trying to stretch out extended rambles with Lady, our family’s mutt, to and around our town pond.
I grow fat. Or at least fatter than I like to be. It’s surely partially related to hitting 60 and body changes. So I started stretching out longer rambles again, trying to fight back against weight gain.
It’s a long-term fight.
I also stretch out the rambles again to help my nerves and feeling of fear for our country. It’s bad enough for any adult to act in the manner that President Donald Trump does. It’s incomprehensible that somebody in his position of power spews the things that he does.
Even worse, I don’t understand the minority of Americans (but a significant minority) who support his every action.
There comes a point where I think we need to speak out as moral and ethical people.
And it did not help this morning to go out as the details of the mass shooting in Las Vegas were starting to come out.
I digress. But those are the reasons I ramble long again.
Yesterday, after church, our youngest and his next-door bud disappeared at the town pond to chase flying grasshoppers and turn over rocks for crickets. Oh, and catch one small frog. He is a boy, albeit headed quicker than I think toward being a man.
The frog was for them. The grasshoppers and crickets were for my neighbor’s chickens. Our neighbor started raising them in his backyard a few weeks ago, and the neighborhood kids have gotten into finding insects and bugs to feed the chickens. I just think it is cool to have chickens in the neighborhood.
I know most of his chickens are Barred Plymouth Rocks; I think the others are Rhode Island Reds.
I digress again. Lady and I rambled off this morning, relatively late, yet it was only the half light of pre-dawn. There’s the march of time again.
A blue jay squawked raucously, the only real way to describe the sound of blue jays, as we rounded the corner to the north. When we moved here 18 years ago, blue jays were common at my feeders. Then West Nile Virus hit our area hard and blue jays have never been as common. I do not know of any studies in our immediate area that prove a causal link, but I’ m confident they are connected.
Lady was quite thrilled to stretch out the extended ramble and, as often happens, dawn came when we were on the far edge of the extended ramble by the corn fields. Small trees, through which squirrels scrambled and drove Lady into a frenzy, framed the dawn.
It made my morning and made me think of writing “Ramble with the Lady” and “Ramble with Storm” regularly in earlier years. Sometimes I intensely miss framing thoughts, fears and loves each morning with the concreteness of the natural world on the morning ramble. Give a second for the late Storm, our family’s much missed black Lab.
Four Canada geese preened themselves near the south shore of the north clay pit. They did not pay us much mind until Lady decided to lunge toward them.A sandpiper noisily flew around just to the east of the geese.
Tiny fish spurted off the shoreline. Not sure why they were up shallow, but considering how odd our weather has been from a week of temperatures in the 90s to several nights of lows in the 40s, I am not surprised at anything aquatic animals do now.
One hedge apple, a vivid green, was in the middle of the path on the east side of the south pit. So I picked it up to take back to my wife, who half believes in their magical powers. I love my wife, so I bring them home to her, one at a time. Whether I believe in their magical powers is irrelevant to me. One other hedge apple, fading fast, was off to the side of the trail.
Back home, I felt pulled in by the color on our front steps: the orange of our daughter’s pumpkins and the deep purples and reds of my wife’s petunias planted with our herb pots.
I put the hedge apple by my wife’s place at the dining room table and began prepping breakfast readiness for the family.
It was time.