Thursday, October 28, 2004

September snow and a picture

Today, Tues, we went cutting again. We're cutting in some areas where there are already meadows formed. We're improving the meadows for the elk herds in the area. The grass is about thigh high and soaked from so much rain. The air is heavy with the smell of "the woods." We hike through rain-rutted roads. When we stop for a moment, we get cold from our soaked sweatshirts. If we weren't so busy working, we might enjoy the scene.

We are on 10 hour days so we came on at 7 a.m. By 10 'o clock it was snowing on us. I always love that first snow. I never seem to have anyone around me to share it with.

Last year in Kansas, we got the forecast for snow and I stayed up waiting for it. At 3:45 AM I called my buddy across campus. He was "less than thrilled," but he understood me; I guess that's why he and his sister call me their bro. I was really excited and then as soon as I got off the phone, I zonked out hard. Just to know some things, any type of things, is really assuring to me. I love the feeling of knowing something is for sure, written in stone, concrete, positive.

Today, September 22, 2004, when I saw the snow, I stopped stacking a burnpile. I pulled out some water and took the whole magic moment in. I was soaked from rain, cold and miserable. I was depressed from cutting live trees again. But in that moment, just like my sunset everyday, I was taken back to being a child.

A child will try to draw a sunset, a snowfall, a tree, the face of a loved one; it may not always look the same as the real thing to whatever grownup is looking at the picture.

On the other hand, a grownup who draws may spend hours drawing the same sunset, snowfall, tree, or face of a loved one. The picture may come out "looking" the same as a photograph.

They (grownups) miss the whole point. They never share the true picture. They have spent so much time "drawing" the picture that they forget the feeling.

A child's picture isn't that great, and I believe sometimes it is that way because they just want to get it drawn, done and over with so quickly, so that they can run and show someone and "talk" about what they saw. That child isn't drawing the picture, they're "sharing" the moment that they experienced. That is true humility. The five-year-old comes out in me so often. I like to think that the five-year-old voice in all of us is the one in which we truly converse with each other.

("I always love that first snow. I never seem to have anyone around me to share it with.") I guess I'm sharing with you what went through my mind when the first snow of this year fell at 10 this morning, and I didn't even have to draw a terrible picture to do it.

Wednesday, October 27, 2004


I am in the middle of a terrible ear infection. It is the kind of pain that makes me wish it were only a toothache. Yes, it's that bad. It brings back "fond" memories of having my ears flushed out with what felt like a fire hose when I was a kid. The nurse said it would tickle and hurt at the same time.

I never knew a feeling like that before then but, tickle and hurt it did indeed. I had tears in my eyes and a smile on my face. I would have giggled but I was told to sit still.

My grandmother is about to pass on and, once again, I find I have tears in my eyes and a smile on my face. And that's all I have to say about that.

Sunday, October 17, 2004

What are you doing?

My buddies in Korea and I had a really fun day set up. We were driving to the Han River Park from our Yongsan Army Garrison. It was a casual Sunday outing. Now when I give directions, I am assuming that you know my thoughts and can read my mind...which would explain why I get so frustrated giving driving directions. So, I told my friend Stephanie to "follow that taxi onto that exit ramp." Stupid. Really stupid.

In a city called Seoul, there were 13 million citizens in 1995. For every citizen, it seems like there are three taxis; three black taxis. You picking up what I'm laying down? I jumped off the seat when Steph followed a black taxi and my black taxi exited on the proper ramp. We hit an off ramp and Steph kept right on that black taxi of hers. Of course, this was an exit for an expressway that went way up the coast toward the DMZ. I knew it would take forever and three days to get back to the Han River Park exit. I got frustrated and that is another story. But, after the frustration settled, we drove with our picnic. We waited in stalled traffic with our picnic. We got out and danced in stalled traffic.

We pulled a Korean Fire drill when it was our turn to move through a crowded intersection and everyone behind us had to wait. (Korean Fire Drill same as Chinese Drill, but done in deomcratic and free society) We finally ate our picnic, on the road. We toured parts of the city we had never seen.

As we drove the huge traffic circle around the historic East Gate, Tongdaemun, we never anticipated the lesson we had in store. Because in the last Korean Fire Drill, Brian had taken the steering wheel. Around the Gate we drove...once, twice, thrice and a fourth. We were all looking at each other and thinking, "now what is he up to?" We finally through fits of laughter managed to ask Brian what he was doing.

He said with a bright red face, "I don't know, but I like it!"

Why couldn't everything be so carefree? We lose sight of the fun in life if we don't just let go sometimes. If everything went as planned, think about it, we might really screw up our lives. They say the plan is the first thing to go in battle. Battle boredom, battle monotony, battle safety. Live life to its fullest. If you find yourself doing the unthinkable, enjoy it! Remember the child in us spells L-O-V-E with the letters T-I-M-E. Spend some time exploring.

Show your inner-child, and your friends, that you don't always have to know what you're doing in order to enjoy it. Go out take the kids ice skating and fall down really hard with them lots of times. Stay in, cook something really exotic, and order pizza if you screw it up. Extend yourself to those unknown streets in life, and do it with someone who will benefit the most from the T-I-M-E it takes to get there and back.