Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Goofs in Autumn

Like leaves on trees the race of man is found, —
Now green in youth, now withering on the ground;
Another race the following spring supplies:
They fall successive, and successive rise.

The Illiad Alexander Pope translation

Monday after school my son and I took a walk in the woods. He had been up late the night before watching his beloved Ravens lose a lead and then snatch victory from the jaws of defeat – from the hated Steelers no less. But I hadn’t run that day and had to get outside. So he was game. We walked and talked. He told me about his day and school. He’s had a tough time with homework this year, but it is coming around. He likes math! He likes everything.

He liked the autumn leaves. Late in the day, the sun doesn’t blaze high above. It sits low, almost level with the trees, spraying the orange leaves with light. It was getting chilly, but the woods felt warm in all that bright.

We saw lots of deer. We saw a pair of bucks with substantial antlers. Later a group of deer snacked just off the trail. A warmly dressed man, walking his dog watched them. His tiny dog, ancient instincts alerted, strained at his leash to take them down.

The next day there was no school, so Carpool Buddy and 3C slept over. Everyone stayed up late and woke up early. The boys went to a laser-tag birthday. Everyone was tired, but I insisted on driving into the mountains to see the leaves. They complained and refused to get out of the car. We drove home.
I hadn’t seen enough. The colors were less then the day before but still vibrant. I dragged the kids back to the woods near our house – they complained.

Why I love my kids
Walking through the woods there was an island of green. It was a grove of bamboo. I had seen it many times, but the kids had never explored it. They were renewed, examining the shoots, looking for bamboo sticks for weapons, and speculating about pandas living in our woods (ok, that was my idea.)

As tired as they were, they were still capable of being amazed by something new.

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