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.
bee on Stokesia laevis (Stokes’ aster)
Cephalanthus occidentalis (common buttonbush)
Cercis canadensis (redbud)
Asclepias tuberosa (butterfly weed)
Hypericum (St. John’s wort)
Pontederia cordata (pickerelweed)