Tag Archives: Monarch butterfly

Chapter 47: Big-Wheel Ecosystem

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–Rabbit Lane is a short nothing of a dirt road in Erda, USA.–

The air was crisp but warmer than a typical January day.  The sky hung gray, and pockets of darker clouds dropped round, soft pellets of dry snow.  Shades of orange accented the western mountaintops.  Feathers of unseen House Swallows rustled from inside Wild Rose and Willow bushes.  The scene made for an idyllic late Sunday afternoon walk on Rabbit Lane.  Idyllic and peaceful . . . except for Hannah (3) riding her big-wheel tricycle behind me.  The wide, hollow, pink plastic wheels ground over the disintegrating asphalt, radiating into the peacefulness the racket of an ore crusher.  I couldn’t hear my wife talk or myself think. Continue reading

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Chapter 31: Hurry Up and Play

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–I’m rich!–
(Caleb-3, upon finding two pennies.)

Though running late for work one morning, I felt a determination to take my walk on Rabbit Lane.  Quickening my pace on the crunching gravel, I found myself thinking: If I hurry, maybe I can finish my 30 minute walk in 20 minutes.  The absurdity of my thought struck me instantly.  I chuckled to myself, but could see that my thinking deserved further study.  I might as well have said, If I hurry, maybe I can short-change myselfContinue reading

Remembering the Day (Lullaby)

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As Angie helped each child wind down to go to sleep over the years, she would sit on the side of their bed and ask, “What was your favorite part of the day?”  They would talk about watching a Monarch butterfly emerge from its chrysalis, a picnic at the park, rollerskating, or a trip to see grandparents.  That question seemed the perfect opening line of a lullaby.  Walking on Rabbit Lane, I played around with a tune, and settled on beginning with my favorite interval, the octave (or perfect 8th).  The melody and lyrics came as the weeks and months clocked by.  This song celebrates all of the end-of-day conversations between parents and children about their special moments together.  Sing it alone to your child or as a parent-child dialog, with you and your child taking turns singing portions of the song to each other as indicated in the score found at the link below.  (For more on this song, see the post Chapter 24: Remembering the Day of the Rabbit Lane: Memoir page of this blog.)

Remembering the Day

Chapter 17: Foreshadowing

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–The Milkweed will push through to grow tall, fragrant, and beautiful, to call the Monarch.–

The disc cushioning my lumbar 4 and 5 vertebrae has been bulging capriciously since I was 12 years old.  It was then that I experienced my first unexpected spine-twisting spasms that paralyzed me sitting in my church pew.  A bulging disc means a frequently aching back, with locked joints and tense muscles.  The pain is always different depending on which way the disc is bulging and, more importantly, which area of the spinal nerves the disc is irritating.  While it becomes difficult and painful to bend, I somehow always manage to dry my feet after a shower, to shimmy on my socks, to tie my shoes, and to drive to work, even if I do have to lie occasionally on the floor during the mayor’s staff meeting. Continue reading

Chapter 14: No Trespassing

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–A butterfly graces equally the idyllic mountain meadow and the urban flower box.–

On a cedar fence post near Rabbit Lane an old sign announces “No Trespassing.”  The letters were burned or carved into the worn and weathered plank.  The sign has been cracked by the black head of a rusting iron nail driven into the cedar post.  The sign has long ago lost any intimidating aspect, and it now resembles the endearing smile of a gap-toothed old man. Continue reading