Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Mid-January Musings

1. There is something primal in me that loves morning light. Today the pups and I hit the trail by 8AM. Dew was heavy on the grass, the sun was warm, geese were conferring noisily … it was a fine day. I choose a route between the lakes and off we went – the dogs sniffing every good smell and me- it just felt good to be there.

Willy and his shadow as we begin our walk

Nature is a good teacher. Since I go out regularly I notice what's different almost every day. Plants and animals respond to normal seasonal stimuli and for them change is a natural part of each season. It reminds me that I can change some things in this world and other things I can only stand back in wonder and amazement.

Early morning light

Change in my own life sometimes happens slowly and randomly - it can be so gradual that it is hard to detect or so fast its a shock to my sense of how things ought to be. Most of the time us humans like for things to stay the same - but they never do. Change is a sure thing in this natural world.

In the Sermon on the Mount there is a reminder that God takes care of even wild growing lilies. I think this means that God cares for the lily bulb, through natural processes, even during its dormant phase, and through its vegetative and seed production phase... as well as its brief beautiful flowering stage... This speaks to me about how to deal with change in all the stages of my life.

Railroad crews spend vast amounts of energy and material to overcome change

2. I enjoy hearing from ex- students! Messages show up in my mail that someone in my class 10 or 20 years ago just found me – When that happens I see the person in my mind as they were when they were 15 or 16 years old - I suspect both you and me have changed in 20 years!

He with my horse skull in physiology class

One of my failings in life is that I don’t have time to respond to the messages that I receive… for this I apologize. I may have a Facebook account but I seldom visit. I have good memories of my career…. and it was you students who made it so great… Like the old song goes… “Thanks for the memories!” So if I don’t answer your message directly I ask you to understanding… I really like to hear from you and learn where life has carried you.

An excellent ecology project involving microorganism succession

3. My computer was running slow this week and I took action – If you have a Macintosh computer this site might help you too. “How to Optimize your Mac computer”: Along with that I tried the mackeeper program: which eliminates all unnecessary programs from your files, unused language materials, and duplicates in your files. Between the two approaches (Campusbyte and mackeeper) I see a big difference in the speed and responsiveness of my computer.

Foggy morning - earlier this week

4. January is on the wane and already I can see signs of spring. The last few days have been a false spring – warm and balmy… We seldom get freezing in February – but it can still happen. I’m watching the skies for rain – we have only half what we need for the season – and January, usually our wettest month, has had no rain. But for now, in my garden, I am seeing daffodil plants, tulip sprouts, buds starting to swell. Everyday changes...