Friday, August 28, 2009

Almost Missed

Dreampacker and I almost missed this little beaver pond and spring on our ride the other evening, yet it is big enough to go skinny dipping. As the story below asks, what else might we be missing when we "ride" too fast?

Washington DC Metro Station on a cold January morning in 2007. He played six Bach pieces for about 45 minutes. During that time approx 2 thousand people went through the station, most of them on their way to work. After 3 minutes a middle aged man noticed there was a musician playing. He slowed his pace and stopped for a few seconds and then hurried to meet his schedule.4 minutes later:the violinist received his first dollar: a woman threw the money in the till and, without stopping, continued to walk.6 minutes:A young man leaned against the wall to listen to him, then looked at his watch and started to walk again.10 minutes:A 3 year old boy stopped but his mother tugged him along hurriedly, as the kid stopped to look at the violinist. Finally the mother pushed hard and the child continued to walk, turning his head all the time. This action was repeated by several other children. Every parent, without exception, forced them to move on.45 minutes:The musician played. Only 6 people stopped and stayed for a while. About 20 gave him money but continued to walk their normal pace.He collected $32.1 hour:He finished playing and silence took over. No one noticed. No one applauded, nor was there any recognition.No one knew this but the violinist was Joshua Bell, one of the best musicians in the world. He played one of the most intricate pieces ever written, with a violin worth $3.5 million dollars. Two days before Joshua Bell sold out a theater in Boston where the seats averaged $100.This is a real story. Joshua Bell playing incognito in the metro station was organized by the Washington Post as part of a social experiment about perception, taste and people's priorities. The questions raised: in a common place environment at an inappropriate hour, do we perceive beauty? Do we stop to appreciate it? Do we recognize talent in an unexpected context?One possible conclusion reached from this experiment could be:If we do not have a moment to stop and listen to one of the best musicians in the world playing some of the finest music ever written, with one of the most beautiful instruments ....
How many other things are we missing?

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Morning Unfolding

The sun has risen above Mt. Ben Lomond as seen from the valley, but here at Mountain Road Ranch all is still in the shadows of a clinging night.

There is a mist of early morning rain on the roses . . .

. . . and the early bees are "busy gathering like never before...yep! . . . it's going to be a long hard winter", . . . oh, but, that's another story.

And like families, there are some dragging out late and asking," Is it morning yet?"

Some blossoms are so determined, they seem to glow . . .

. . . without any direct sunlight.

But when the sun slips across the Pass, bathing the garden in a moment of slanted light . . .

contrasting lights and shadows bring new depths . . .

. . . and even an old Zinnia, pregnant with seed, promises one more day of color.

So too, the corn makes one more try to ensure every silken thread is pollinated . . .

. . . and it goes not unnoticed by the gathering bees.

When the sun moves behind Lewis Peak,
throughout the garden faint light still shows contrasts . . .

. . . of color and shape . . .

. . . and contour.

And still some glow . . .

. . . and seem to burn with an internal fire not yet from the sun.

Others, bowed patiently through the night, begin to open, lift and face the sun.
So may we all.

Of course there is a post script:
Can anyone identify this unique blossom?
Hint: it is in the garden.

Royal Feast

There are many metaphors drawn comparing gardening, planting, and harvesting with spiritual terms of planting seeds, wheat and tares, harvests to come, faith, works, and much more. Suffice it to say, " I did prune, and dung 'round about it." And now the harvest is in full swing. Apricots are done. Our corn is gone now; the sweetest you'll ever taste. Peaches are in in mid season, with two more later varieties to come. People drive from clear out state to get our apricots and peaches. My best peaches are the size of softballs and much easier on the palette. Grapes are about a week away. Please come and get some, for our larder is full of last year's juice. Some say pride is of Lucifer. Maybe. But I am proud of the harvest the Lord and I put together. It lacks only those to enjoy it.

Monday, August 17, 2009

New Adventures?

I started school today with two new assignments added to my full case load of deaf kids, grades 4 - 11 this year. One is to train a new teacher of the deaf hired a week ago. The other is to coach 15 seasoned teachers of the deaf. I meet with my director tomorrow to find out how this all will fit into one day or week. The day is not long enough. Is there no rest for the wicked?