Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: ZEST (10/01/15)
- TITLE: Who Cares About Paris…
By Noel Mitaxa
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Venturing outside is easier now, with no more need with gloves, jackets, hats or scarves.
Spring is in full-swing, with energy and anticipation bursting into life all around us.
Itâ€™s brought the sun closer; and more visible with lighter clouds, more blue skies and the promise of more warmth to come. But then itâ€™s always sunny―if youâ€™re tall enough.
Spring has shifted our clocks forward an hour, so afternoons are longer.
And the noise!
Birdcalls surround us with their own cacophony; clearly auditioning for â€śNatureâ€™s Got Talent!â€ť (Coming to you soon on the Discovery Channel.) As males preen and strut their stuff for inattentive females, they flit through gaps in trees at death-defying speeds; carrying materials to shape into nests.
Itâ€™s even harder to sleep at night, with the noise of all the grass growing. And daytime naps are shortened â€“ nay, obliterated â€“ by the steady roar of mowers and trimmers.
Flowers send up shoots as advance parties to survey their prospects of claiming the bare earth for their impending displays. Weeds and insects keep their invasion plans a secret―secure in the knowledge that they will be a force to be reckoned with.
Fruit trees have already won the race to replace winterâ€™s drabness as we look out from our windows. Theyâ€™re already festooned in vivid pinks, whites, yellows. But thatâ€™s just the prelude to their ultimate offerings of fruit; a prelude that attracts countless bees. More noise and energy, as these little critters buzz from blossom to blossom; so intent on producing honey that they are probably oblivious to their absolutely-vital, pollinizing role in the whole worldâ€™s food chain. A role that helps us to survive, and to enjoy the sweetness of their end-product.
Mornings are brighter, especially today, for excitement erupts inside - in the form of our three-year-old granddaughter. Springing into our room; totally rewound from blissful, stress-free sleep and armed with a book; she's eager for a story in bed with grandma and grandpa. But we need more light. She pauses at the window and lifts the blind. â€śA sunny day!â€ť she exclaims. Then, raising the second blind, she enthuses in the unassailable, innocent beauty of a childâ€™s logic: â€śOhhh, two sunny days!â€ť
Out in the paddocks, spring lambs are ceaselessly gambolling, darting around and chasing each other; until instinct interrupts and propels them towards their mothers, who brace themselves for each suckling onslaught. Yes, these little guys are cute, but letâ€™s realise that they are also part of the food chain; which reminds me of an old, anonymous poem that emphasises such practicality:
Mary had a little lamb,
With vegetables and sauce.
â€śOh dearest lamb,â€ť she cried, â€śI am
As hungry as a horse!â€ť
The rams just keep nibbling the grass, smugly ignorant of their procreative role in all this energy.
How many sheep are there? Don't ask; for I fall asleep whenever I try to count them.
Life as a pastor/hobby farmer keeps teaching me more and more about seasonal changes and how each one can vary from its counterpart from the year before. This 24/7 class in the scripturesâ€™ agricultural insights and imagery constantly treats me to Godâ€™s faithfulness and to the abundance he has built into his creation. And about the miracles he loves to quietly perform, while he invites us to just show up and enjoy them.
So despite the old song about how seeing Paris can make farm life so unappealing, Iâ€™m more than happy to enjoy spring down here.
And even winter.
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