water-lily launching pad
~ Barbara Rodgers
(By the Sea)
First rehearse this song by note,
To each word a warbling note,
Hand in hand with fairy grace,
Will we sing and bless this place.
~ William Shakespeare
(A Midsummer Night’s Dream)
So this is what commodity corn can do to a cow: industrialize the miracle of nature that is a ruminant, taking this sunlight- and prairie grass-powered organism and turning it into the last thing we need: another fossil fuel machine. This one, however, is able to suffer.
~ Michael Pollan
(The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals)
I think I could turn and live with the animals,
they’re so placid and self-contain’d,
I stand and look at them long and long.
~ Walt Whitman
(Song of Myself)
All outward forms of religion are almost useless, and are the causes of endless strife. What do creeds matter, what possible difference does it make to anyone today whether the doctrine of the resurrection is correct or incorrect, or the miracles, they don’t happen nowadays, but very queer things do that concern us much more. Believe there is a great power silently working all things for good, behave yourself and never mind the rest.
~ Beatrix Potter
(A Life in Nature)
The enjoyment of the choicest natural scenes in the country and the means of recreation connected with them is thus a monopoly, in a very peculiar manner, of a very few, very rich people. The great mass of society, including those to whom it would be of the greatest benefit, is excluded from it. In the nature of the case private parks can never be used by the mass of the people in any country nor by any considerable number even of the rich, except by the favor of a few, and in dependence on them.
Thus without means are taken by government to withhold them from the grasp of individuals, all places favorable in scenery to the recreation of the mind and body will be closed against the great body of the people. For the same reason that the water of rivers should be guarded against private appropriation and the use of it for the purpose of navigation and otherwise protected against obstruction, portions of natural scenery may therefore properly be guarded and cared for by government. To simply reserve them from monopoly by individuals, however, it will be obvious, is not all that is necessary. It is necessary that they should be laid open to the use of the body of the people.
The establishment by government of great public grounds for the free enjoyment of the people under certain circumstances, is thus justified and enforced as a political duty.
~ Frederick Law Olmsted
(America’s National Park System: The Critical Documents)
The release of reproach enables the universal motion of vitality to flow again. Like a long-dammed-up tide, vitality sweeps toward the arid shores of the soul with compassionate moisture, bringing life into perspective and rhythm once more.
~ Caitlín Matthews
(The Celtic Spirit: Daily Meditations for the Turning Year)
This morning I’ve been pleasantly occupied catching up with reading my favorite blogs. My blogging friend Jane, over at nichepoetryandprose, has been writing about one room schoolhouses. Reading her posts brought back a memory my father used to share frequently in his later years, when he was suffering from dementia.
He said he would walk home from school at noon to eat lunch with his mother. He always had to wait a few minutes for her to feed him while she was listening to the end of an episode of her favorite radio soap opera, “John’s Other Wife.”
Papa attended a one room schoolhouse in Montville, Connecticut. He also walked to high school at Norwich Free Academy in Norwich. One day Tim & I drove along the route to see if that was feasible, and it was 3 miles, no problem for a teenager.
I decided to search online for “John’s Other Wife,” and found this interesting blog post: September 14, 1936: Debut of John’s Other Wife. My father was 14 years old when this program debuted and he must have been in high school by then. Perhaps his mother was listening to it when he got home from school in the afternoon? I’m not sure he would have walked 3 miles home for lunch and then back to school again for a few hours. The memory of returning home for lunch from the one room schoolhouse must have mingled with the memory of returning home to find his mother completely absorbed in her soap opera, no doubt after a long day of hard work on the farm.
Then I found an episode online – “John’s Relapse” – it was only ten minutes long! Anyway, it was fun listening to the very program my grandmother listened to all those years ago.