Since I have had two busy days, with little time for a new blog entry, I thought I'd post an old essay of mine tonight. A shortened version, but one that has been published a couple of times. I hope you enjoy it.
"Some Things I Want My Granddaughters To Know"
I tell my granddaughters about the wild creatures that inhabit my woods, fields and pond.
I tell them the names of the birds that frequent the feeders in the summer, or winter. I show them the great blue heron that visits the pond in hopes of catching a frog dinner. They think he is "cool" looking. And so he is!
Later, we watch a red-tailed hawk soar gracefully above the field, and land on a limb of the dead oak, eyeing the chickens in my yard.
"Shoo!" I yell at the hawk, while my granddaughters giggle. I show my granddaughters the beautiful raccoons and homely opossums that visit my yard at night. Sometimes we see an armadillo, too.
"He is strange looking," says Hannah.
I want my granddaughters to see the deer grazing in the field, especially the rare albino doe that is so beautiful it takes ones breath away. And early mornings, I want them to hear the wild turkeys gobbling. If we're lucky, we can catch a glimpse of them, too. I tell my granddaughters about some of the scarier creatures that live around here. Like the huge blacksnake that sometimes finds his way into the chicken coop. I want them to know that although I may threaten the blacksnake with my broom, to discourage him from getting the eggs, I would never harm him. I tell them that the blacksnake, like all the other wild creatures, has a right to his existence, too.
In the woods, I teach them the names of the trees; so they know the difference between an oak and a hickory, an elm and a maple. We look up the names of wildflower’s as well, and when we see butterflies alighting on them, we look them up, too. I want my granddaughters to go outside with me on a clear, starry-night, and learn the names of the constellations. If we are lucky enough to see a shooting star, they can make a secret wish on it. Summer nights, I open the windows so they can hear the chorus of a country night, while fireflies flash their perfect lights.
I want my granddaughters to hear the eerie howl of the coyotes, and be glad there is still enough wildness left, where coyotes and other wild creatures can live their lives. I remind them often that the Creator of all this beauty would be pleased, if they worked toward preserving His beautiful creations, so their own grandchildren could someday enjoy it as well.
Meanwhile, spending time together and creating precious memories, is one of the joys of having grandchildren.