I am no longer blogging here at Little Nuances, but I would love for you to join me on my author website www.leewarren.info.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

#88 Wall Art

Continuing with the 100 life-enriching little nuances series ...

Trees and Stream PicWhen I was a kid, my grandparents had a house on an acreage with a wooded area behind it. A small underground stream cut through it. My grandpa, and sometimes my dad, took me down into the woods on Saturdays and we walked the land. They told me about various animals and birds we saw and sometimes my grandpa pointed out subtle differences he saw in the land over the years.

When I got old enough, they let me bring me bring my BB gun and I’d shoot at cans or birds as we walked. I wasn’t the only kid enjoying the land though. Occasionally, we’d come across an area in which a kid had set up a mini-camping area and left behind traces of the fun he had. Grandpa seemed to make a mental note and I knew he would be keeping an eye on the area.

I was always drawn toward the little stream. It didn’t cover a lot of land, and best I could tell, it didn’t contain any fish. I just liked the sound it made and I was fascinated by its existence. One winter, my grandpa and I took a walk in the woods. For some reason, I picked up a long stick and used it as a walking stick. The stream was frozen over and I took a short jaunt over the ice. I slipped and fell, jamming the stick into one of my eyes.

Grandpa got me back to the house. He was more upset than I’d ever seen him. I think he was upset with himself more than anything, but I don’t know how you keep a kid from being a kid in a setting like that. I can’t remember what the doctor said at the hospital, but I do remember wearing a patch over my eye for quite a while. After it came off, my eye was fine.

During another trip to the woods, my dad pointed at what we thought was an owl in a tree. Then, as we studied it, we thought it might be a dove. I know, they looking nothing alike. Then we laughed about our lack of wilderness knowledge. But it didn’t matter, because we were hanging out in the woods together. What more could a boy ask for from his father on a Saturday afternoon?

After my parents divorced, my mom, my sister and I moved. Mom bought a painting for our living room of a meandering stream that cut through a patch of trees in the middle of fall. The leaves had already turned to orange, red and yellow. And, of course, the painting became a gentle reminder of those Saturday afternoons in the woods. 

I still have that painting. It’s hanging in my living room.


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