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Ramble with Storm: Thoreau, St. Paul & sex drive

Mulling things on my morning ramble with Storm, the family’s mixed. Lab.

Stopping by bridge on a summer morning, I took the time to sit and stare at the island.

Yes, I am channeling Robert Frost’s “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening.”

The meathead must have wondered why, though he did find something jumping around the water’s edge, not sure if it was small frogs or grasshoppers.

Friday mornings tend to be odd rambles for me. My brain is usually fried on Friday mornings.

Thursday is deadline day for both my outdoors for the Post-Tribune and my Sunday outdoors column and notes for the Sun-Times, So it is usually 10 or 11 until I am finished.

By the time I cool down a little, it tends to be late. Then I get up at my usual 5 a.m. and my brain feels empty as I pull together the Wild Weekend Wandering around Chicago outdoors and check in on the usual news sites.

This morning I was on the far end of the extended ramble before I realized I had not noticed any wildlife other than the families of Canada geese grazing and crapping around the ball field.

So at the bridge over the neckdown between the two old clay pits, I forced myself to stop to seek my center and to simply listen while staring at the island (above).

I did not notice much wildlife, other than some small fish dimpling the surface of the south pit. But as I listened, the sounds of the traffic a mile north (wind direction) came easily.

And for some reason, I began mulling the role of Thoreau. And I got riled.

As an English major and an outdoors guy, it is always assumed that Thoreau must be near my top of reading idols. He’s not.

Oh, I understand that is he a wonderful writer. A thousand calendars and posters with abbreviated clips of his pithy quotes (often misleadingly clipped) prove his writing touches people.

Here’s the thing that has always bugged me. How do you sit in the woods or by the pond for a year and not want some human physical touch. I don’t care if it is man or woman.

In other words, I have a basic mistrust of somebody that famous with such an apparently low sex drive. I think it skews (that’s skews, not screws) thinking.

That’s one of my pet peeves.

While I am preaching, let me get to St. Paul. A brilliant man, a visionary and a leader. But again somebody who when he opines on the relationship between man and woman makes me want to scratch my head and wonder if he ever in his life burned for somebody, man or woman. I don’t care which one, but I do care that he apparently did not burn for anybody.

Yes, these things do bother me, especially when he pontificates about how men and women should act toward each other.

Gave me St. Peter any day. First of all, he’s a fisherman. Second of all, he burns with fire and passion, good and bad (cock crowing and denials of Jesus for example).

Now turn to the hymnal.

Gray squirrels and mourning doves scattered from below the bird feeder as we came up the steps of the front porch.