For almost two months I have had an idea for what (I had hoped) would be a clever post. In the end of April, I bought a new pair of binoculars for bird-watching. These new binoculars promise to help my old eyes better spot the lovely birds that still remain among us.
Right away, I began to think of the other binoculars I’ve had. About 18 years ago, Tom and I bought binoculars for our son, Billy, to take to the Amazon. I think they got wet there, but I am not sure. Note: Bill just told me that it was the camera he dropped in the water, not the binoculars. In any event, those binoculars don’t work well.
Then, I began to think about my first pair of binoculars. I can’t find them to show you. I may have finally recycled them. I haven’t used them in decades. However, I brought those binoculars (Tasco, I believe) along wherever we went because my Dad had given them to me. Dad gave them to me for either Christmas 1970 or 1971, after I had begun my adventures on the Colorado Plateau. I remember trying out the binoculars on a hike with my Dad at Kensington Metropark near my home. The binoculars worked well and Dad and I had a fine walk and talk.
My idea was to write about double vision: seeing the world as it is here now; seeing the world as it was in my lucky childhood.
I can’t seem to write about my childhood as clearly as I want to. I want to tell you about
- the spyglass my Dad kept on the living room table. I felt like a pirate when I used it to spy a great blue heron;
- trilliums in the yard back when we still saw deer tracks by the shore;
- moonlight on the water–night after night and year after year. I don’t have the words to share this vision;
- the early morning fog out my window as I dressed for school, and so much more.
When I see photos of so many children and parents in pain because of the Trumpian practice of separating families at our southern border, I can hardly write about my childhood. When I look backward, I see my happy childhood with my mother and father there to care for my brothers and me. I want all families to be safe. That’s only a vision, I know, but I am not the only one.
Maybe I can only see the present clearly right now. Below, are some photos I took yesterday on the Summer Solstice at the United States Botanic Garden in Washington D.C.
See you later, I hope.
Beautiful essay Lynda!
Thanks, Suki, I appreciate your kind words.
“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.” –
Dr. Seuss Perhaps the childhood you recall so beautifully gave you the capacity to care so deeply. Your photography echoes the fresh clarity of your writing. Beautiful work, my friend.
Thank you so much for your kind words, dear friend. 60 years since my family moved to the lake, but I remember the beauty of the water, the trees, and the sky like it was yesterday.