Friday, December 31, 2010

364 Days Around the Sun . . .

. . . and 364 rotations from evening to morning and back again. I don't wonder at the shadows of turning, but that anything remains the same!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Small Wonder

We planted a row of heirloom English peas right after Thanksgiving, at the end of November, as Rodger the expert had directed. About ten days later, the peas sprouted, barely cracking the cold ground.

In mid-December it turned bitter cold: 11 degrees when I woke up one morning. The peas lay under a blanket of snow from late Christmas Eve, through Christmas Day, and the day after that.

A segment of our row of English peas today:

Like Little Children

One autumn Saturday when I was about 10, my father lit the signal fire, a huge pile of leaves he had raked off our still-green St. Augustine lawn. I can see him leaning on the rake, smiling, while black smoke spiraled skyward. Within minutes the neighborhood children had received the invitation in the smoke and had all gathered--some on bicycle and some on foot--around the signal fire in the corner of the alley.

Among them was a little boy about four years old we'd never seen before. His name was Gregory, but his speech was clumsy and Dad and I thought he said "Wagby." So Wagby he became. He was inquisitive. To any explanation Dad gave, he always had another question. It was: "WHY?"

"Mr. D., WHY did you light this fire?"

"To burn the leaves."


"Because I didn't want them on the grass."


"Well, because the yard looks neater without leaves everywhere."

"WHY?" . . .

And eventually the only answer Dad or anyone could give little Wagby was a frustrated BECAUSE!

I think of Wagby whenever I read Christ's words, "like little children." And I identify. I'm by no means a little child, but my middle-aged world is still so full of "WHY?"s.

WHY does an optical image go through a pinhole inverted?

Because light travels in a straight line.

But WHY?

Because it does. Just because.

There's so much room for wonder. So many questions. All of which science proposes to answer, and all which leave one remaining question: