Thursday, April 21, 2011

Penny Pak Ponderings

Yesterday my youngest daughter and I went for a long overdue walk into Penny Pak Park. I have now officially seen each season in the park. This past winter was my first snowy sojourn into the park. I realized yesterday though, that it is necessary to my good health to be a much more frequent visitor to the Park, particularly since it is truly the largest natural haven here in my neighborhood. There is so much happening there right now I was slightly overwhelmed by it all. I discovered cottonwood trees with their soft buds poking up. I saw young patches of nettle and violets. There were also many other plants, but sadly I only knew a small handful by name. Those that I could identify, I joyfully shared with my daughter. Another realization I had was, I needed to become the teacher I want. Therefore the bits of knowledge that I do have, I must share or they will become lost. So I showed her the cottonwood buds and invited her to touch and feel their softness. Instructed to stay clear of the nettle patches, pointed out shepherd's purse with their adorable heart shaped seedpods. We talked of violets and pansies and all the food that was growing there in the park.

Finally we sat for a bit and watched a beetle as it ambled down the macadam pathway. She (yes, we decided she was surely feminine) has us a bit worried as she was on her way since there were many dangers on her route of choice. Walkers, joggers, bikers to name a few. We struggled with whether or not we should move her out of the way, or if it was better to let her go her own way. We watched and were very curious to discover that as slowly as she traveled and in a seemingly indecisive manner, she made it. Her slowness of gait enabled the few observant humans walking by to stop and admire her a bit. She had quite a few near misses which caused us to look away and flinch a bit. (yes, we actually cared about the outcome of this beetle) In fact, in spite of all the near misses she made it and without any of our assistance.

All this beetle watching spawned the inevitable spiritual discussion between us. Did she think that this is how G-d is with us? Are we simply like this beetle travelling along the path? Does the Universe simply allow us to go our way as indecisively as Miss Beetle? When and/or does the the Universe intervene? Should the Creator intervene at all?

We came to no conclusions and had no answers. We believe Miss Beetle came to teach us to observe and to ask questions. She was quite captivating and in the end, she made it safely to the other side.
As I hope and pray, we all will too.

There are no pictures as it was a holiday, but I am committing myself to getting to Penny Pak more often and documenting my findings and perhaps, if I am able, do a little wildcrafting.

Note: as a fan of alliteration I could very well have added the words "Peaceful Pesach/Passover" to the above title but refrained from doing so. Much like my friends who adore puns, the tendency to go overboard is always tempting and restraint is mostly appreciated. °Ü°

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