In Between or Middle Magic

There is something magical in those days before the shift from one season to another.  Sometimes it is the bubbling sense of relief as you come out of one season and look into the upcoming one with hope and wild intentions.  Sometimes it is with a touch of sadness or longing as you peer into the next season, feeling as if you never got to really enjoy the one that is now leaving.

This morning, as the four-footed one and I were out on our ramble, I felt the touch of fall in the air.  A coolness and sharpness to the air went along with the full apple trees and suddenly all grown up rabbits.  Summer is sliding quickly away now, the heat of the day’s slowly slipping into a cooler time.

I’m  not really ready for fall yet, I decided as we walked past someone’s incredible flowerbeds.  The flowers standing out as bright, brash colorful splotches against the dulling grass, now more golden than green.  It isn’t just the colors that I will miss as summer disappears.  I will miss the whispered warmth of the sun trying to kiss my skin while I dance back to the shade.  I will miss the incredible birdsong that greets me in the morning.

Yes the fall, at least around here, will have its own burgeoning colors.  The trees shall be wrapped in gold, orange or red before the leaves finally fall to the ground below.  And then the trees, their bare limbs waving in the cold wind, will act as a reminder that we are heading into the barren and dead time of winter.

The four-footed one though seems to enjoy these moments when we hang between two seasons, neither too hot nor too cold.  She finds new smells, new friends to make and each familiar place has acquired something a little different.  She bounces into each day with enthusiasm and joy.  She fears not letting go of one season for another, instead she lets each moment be a whole new adventure.  Today’s adventure for her wasn’t the weather, it was discovering fallen apples in places where she could sample them with ease.  And sample them she did!

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Adventures With My Companion

We headed out for a short walk, or so I thought.  My travel companion had a very different idea, or perhaps we just have a different understanding of what is a short walk. Then again it can be hard to control one’s self when one is off on a big adventure.  And that, my friends, is how my travel companion sees just about every walk we take.

So every time I thought we were about to turn back, my companion would lunge ahead, tempted by the scent of something new.  She didn’t heed my reminder that we would have to walk all this way back home, or how tired she was judging from her tongue flopping out of mouth now and then.  Still forward we pushed as though heading home wasn’t an option, or something less than desirable at any rate.

Slowly we worked our way home walking the long way.  She seemed oblivious of what I was doing, or at least happy to allowed to carry on her adventurous mode by taking the long, out-of-the-way path back home.

Upon arrival back home, an hour later, she immediately had a drink and flopped in a spot of sunlight and promptly fell asleep.  The kind of sleep where you don’t even move because you are so tired.  Of course that sleep lasted just long enough to get the taste for another adventure, long before I was ready for one.  But then my companion doesn’t worry too much about whether or not I’m ready for another adventure so much as she works on that cute, whole body wiggle or wag thing that she does when she really wants something.  And she knows that I find it irresistible and give in, because an adventure means more fun just ahead or around the corner.

Who Says History Is Boring?

A small voice, accompanied by a gentle tug on my shawl, asked me why we bother to learn boring things, like history. If the small voice had belonged to an adult it would have been an easy answer, but it didn’t. It belonged to a colleague’s young son who was part of “take your child to work” initiatives.

Probably not the most fun place to take a child, where we work. Even less fun to sit through your father’s lectures about history and the formation of nations when all you want to do is take advantage of the sun shining in the blue sky. It also probably didn’t help that our school lacks a playground for children to have fun and burn off excess energy.

So why do we bother to learn boring things? Is it because “they” say it’s important to have knowledge in these “boring” areas? Is it because we are too young, to uninformed to know what is boring or exciting? Is it all a matter of context.

When this little boy explained to me that all of history was boring, he wasn’t aware of all the amazing adventures that took place in history. He hadn’t had his mind opened to the incredible sea faring journeys of the Vikings. He liked the idea of the Vikings, the softer and friendlier version I told him about. No need to teach a young child that everything is violence and strength just yet.

The idea of boats with fantastic animals to guide them and keep them safe seemed to really capture his attention. So did the idea of exploring and making discoveries in newly discovered land for your people. He expressed concern about having to row the boat though, so he needed to be in “the front and in charge” to “make sure everyone row’s properly”.

See fun is what you make of it, as is boring. And why do we have to learn about history? Because it tells us a little about the people who came before us. If we are lucky we can hear their thoughts in their own written words, see how they learned about new challenges and realize that we aren’t that far off from them after all.

Terror In The Garden

Terror stalks my garden.  The flowers tuck their blooms in close, the grass doesn’t seem to grow as tall and the birds are basically doing very quick stopovers.  And I don’t blame any one of them.

We thought we got a puppy, but we may have gotten a hybrid of some sort.  She is part anteater, minus the long sticky tongue but with a taste for ants all the same.  She likes the refreshing taste of mint after some crawling ants, but if she can’t get to the mint she will settle for the subtle refreshment of grass.

She is part bee, pollenating flowers as she pushes her turned up face right into the blossoms as if to absorb all their perfume before moving on to the next flower with a repeat performance.  She also likes to roll on the petals, as if to get the very essence of the flowers into her fur.

Birds are provided a time limit of no more than 15 seconds in the grass before they are chased out.  I suspect she wants to ensure the worms remain for her delight although I haven’t seen her eat one yet.

I’m sorely tempted to take her truffle hunting because if there is just the beginning of a mushroom growing, she’s on it like there is no tomorrow.  She will try to dig it out too if you let her.

All the raspberries of a certain height have been picked off the canes and consumed.  Now she is going after ones that require a bit of a stretch.  Because the strawberries has vanished.  Blackberries are also disappearing at an alarming rate and I’m sure soon the entire garden will become an endangered place.

The vet assures me she isn’t goat, not even a small fraction of one.  He said she is simply exploring her world and enjoying the fruits of the season.  Evidently none of it harmful.  She may even dig up carrots he said.

I’ve asked for signed documentation that she is a dog, just in case someone sees her bounding across the lawn because she will run, but she also likes to jump.  Long quick jumps that seem to require no preparing.  The way deer jump.

She is, he vet assures me, a lovely puppy who is starting to enjoy the adventures of her new home.  Now if only she didn’t find toes to be tasty!

Sleeping Dogs

Somehow today we managed to sleep in.  Instead of being up by 04:30 we got up at 06:25.  It is possible, I believe, that if someone hadn’t needed to go potty, that we may have made it to 07:00!

In our house this is a huge issue!  One of our much-loved four-footed family members as what we refer to as a pre-sunrise bladder.  For some reason this member needs to get up and go outside just before the sun starts to rise.  And after he gets up, he isn’t interested in going back to sleep.  He wants to play, or snuggle in the rocking chair, or investigate with his four-footed friend.

This results in everyone being woken up to soft woofs, and whines.  These don’t stop until everyone is out of bed and in starting the day.  I know, especially if you are a night owl, that this may not sound like a great start to the day, but who can resist tail wags and happy doggie dancing?  Some how when this starts a morning, it makes me heart smile.

But today there wasn’t a wet nose, whine or woof to wake us up at 04:30.  And so we slept.   Well to be honest we both woke up, but heard two dogs snoring so we decided to go back to sleep for a bit.  Those woofs, whines and wet noses made their presence known at 07:00.  At which point Beloved and I wondered if both dogs were feeling okay.  It appeared as though ey felt fine, so we started off our regular morning, albeit a little later than normal.

Our extra early rises seems no worse for the wear, however Beloved phoned the vet just to be sure.  We were both surprised st what the vet said, which was “everyone, even early risers, need a lie-in sometimes”!  She also felt that both dogs had probably been over-tired from time walking out in the wet woods.  By walking I mean that’s what I did.  He dogs however were in a hurry to smell all the different scents; chase squirrels, birds and imaginary animals.  In other words they were running all over the place.  Not just running higher thither and yin.  But running while dragging their human boat anchor who simply couldn’t keep up.

The truth is, I’d be exhausted as well and probably need to sleep in.  It was also a longer than normal car ride for the two of them.  They don’t sleep in the car because they are busy looking out the windows and such, but after a car ride they normally fall into a deep sleep.  And since we got home late basically it was “bed time” not long after getting home.

It was a nice change, this little extra sleep, but it also made me feel lazy.  Not to mention  it made me feel as if I had wasted part of the day.  Beloved didn’t seem to mind the extra rest and unlike me didn’t feel he had wasted a moment of the day.  But he isn’t looking for a repeat day immediately because it’s just not normal!  He said once or twice a year is about all he can handle of this extra rest.

Consumed by Single Obessions

I am consumed.  Completely consumed.  Yet again I should say.  I go through cycles of consumption, so to speak.  Beloved says it’s not really that my thoughts and time are consumed, although I do become rather singular in my focus.  Instead he says the word to use is obsessed.

There may be  some truth to this as I do tend to get rather caught up and entangled with an interest.  So much so that I have been known to miss appointments, miss time with friends and forget to meet deadlines.  So yes maybe consumed doesn’t do this justice, perhaps insanely obsessed works better.

I can’t recall a time in life where I didn’t find something that completely caught my attention and demanded that I learn more or explore more.  It’s makes the learning or exploring rather easy, however it means that other things shift out of focus at times.

Beloved believes it’s because I get bored relatively easy, like he does.  Where he involves himself in several different things at the same time, I seem to fixate on one.  I work my way through whatever has caught my fancy until I’ve learned all I can or have grown bored with it.  Then I move onto the next fascination.

So perhaps you could say I’m consumed with my shiftng Obessions.

 

Educating

I have a confession to make, just a small one. When I started this whole idea of teaching and lecturing, I had assumed he bulk of my learning was behind me. I assumed it was now sharing my knowledge, refining my work and so forth. Oh I always knew I’d still learn things, but I figured the largest amount of learning was finished. I was wrong.

He one thing I’ve learned now that it each is that my students are constantly providing me with an education. They challenge the way things are presented, they challenge what is presented and they demand that I educate them in different mediums, which means I must learn these mediums.

I’ve also learned from these students what a blessing my own education had been, what I’ve been exposed to and allowed to pursue.

Each day these student teach me things about immediate gratification or response and how somehow it short changes us.

Each day I marvel at the innovative ways my students use technology to find the answers; part of me worries that they are too busy finding the answers to learn to think for themselves.

These students of mine present me with new ideas and concepts to explore and I stumble through the door and fall into a world much like Alice fell into Wonderland. I may not like what I see, I may not think I’ve learned anything from that visit at the time, but I have. Mid nothing else I’ve learned what I like and dislike.

The idea of life long learning stretches, not just to classrooms and online lectures. It stretches to the informal and stretches on and on. I ride it all, like a wave, sometimes barely hanging on and other times knowing I’ve tamed it enough to ride it with skill and ease. I also know my time up there with that confidence is temporary.

The best thing is the education I get from my students I share with Beloved. We jump off into other directions and carry on learning, and sharing and getting lost just to get found again. Somehow it all seems right.