It’s been a busy summer all around, and I haven’t had the chance to have much one-on-one time with the kids. They’re mostly all grown up now with kids of their own, and it’s getting harder and harder to get more than a few minutes together.
I work out with my son once a week, but with my daughters it’s tougher. Tiff’s in school and has a lightning bolt for a daughter, but we’re penciling something in soon. Saturday I saw Suicide Squad with my middle daughter, Amber.
And Sunday I snagged a daddy-daughter day with Morgan, my youngest kid who goes off to university in two weeks. When I asked her what she wanted to do, she said she wanted to go for a walk down at what the kids simply call “Texas Beach.” In stuffy grown-up language, this is North Bank Trail and Texas Beach entrance to City of Richmond’s James River Park System.
When this punk was 3′ tall I used to walk her all over the parks and trails of our city and county. I still remember her sense of wonder the year in early May when we solved the mystery of the falling tulips together. That was at Echo Lake. Every few minutes as we walked the trails, a blossom would fall down, seemingly from heaven. I knew of course where the mysterious blossoms were coming from, but I let her figure it out on her own, feeding her clues. Eventually we found ourselves at the foot the biggest tulip poplar you ever saw, easily 100′ tall and too thick for us to join hands around.
So we put brackets on this segment of her life’s grand adventure, ending this little phase as we began it — walking in the woods hand in hand.
Spicebush, a.k.a. Lindera benzoin.
The view down from the walkway over the railroad tracks
Someone’s been stacking rocks!
A pentagram of sorts scrawled on the rocks near the locks
A spider web in the sun.
Hibiscus or “Rose of Sharon” right at the beginning of the trail
Another cool picture of the locks.
Over the weekend I went to Book People, my favorite bookstore. By the way, this Oscar Wilde quote has been over the counter for years (photo at right): “We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.”
Anyway, I was looking for a good book, something philosophical, mystical, thought provoking. What I found was a little book by the name of Nature, Man and Woman by Alan Watts. This is a bombshell of a book, one of those books so thick with excellent points, so devoid of fluff, that if you try to highlight “the good stuff” you end up highlighting the entire book (that’s what happened to me, so I just put the highlighter down).
I really hope you’ll give it a read, so I won’t spoil it with a complete review. What I will do is throw a taste at you, in the form of a representative quote.
“For it is strictly incorrect to think of the progressive cultures as materialistic, if the materialist is one who loves concrete materials. No modern city looks as if it were made by people who love materials. The truth is rather that progressive man hates material and does everything possible to obliterate its resistances, its spatial and temporal limits. Increasingly his world consists of end-points, of destinations and goals with the times and spaces between them eliminated by jet propulsion. Consequently there is little material satisfaction in reaching the goal, since a life full of goals and end-points is like trying to abate one’s hunger by eating merely the two precise ends of a banana. The concrete reality of the banana is, on the contrary, all that lies between the two ends, the journey as it were, all that jet propulsion cuts out.”
~Alan W. Watts, Nature, Man and Woman (New York, Vintage Books (1970) p. 16-17)
That’s all I got for now. Have great day. Start by eating the entire fucking banana, except for the skin of course.
Some validation of what I’ve been saying for years in the form of a great article from Outside Magazine on “the surprising theory that nature can lower your blood pressure, fight off depression, beat back stress—and even prevent cancer.”
Not so surprising to me.
Posted in Green
Tagged cure, nature, outside