Saturday, June 19, 2010

Too Bad, Eugene

"Under the trees in
the noontime I lie,
And we whisper together,
dear nature and I"

Eben Eugene Rexford, American Poet (1848 - 1916)

This little ditty was on my Old Farmer's Almanac calendar page the other day, and I could not agree less with the venerable Mr Rexford, who spent most of his life in the Green Bay, Wisconsin area, proving that they really do pack it deep and high up there.

For one thing, Rex, most of us are working at noontime five days a week, and going outside to lie beneath a tree would be frowned upon as soon as we came back to the office reeking of mulch and swatting away ants. That leaves the weekends, and if you think you're spending all day Saturday snoozing 'neath a cedar or a weeping willow, Mister, you'd better just think about that again real carefully. Sunday at noon, most of us are either getting out of church or getting out of going to church, and either way, we wouldn't be dressed for tree-lying.

See what you started?

And not to even mention how hot it is under a tree at this time of year, and if a thunderstorm is coming along, a tree is a very bad place underneath of which to be. Or not to be.

Now, if you want to whisper with nature, nature will answer you back in a thousand ways: a cloud will billow, a breeze will ruffle your shirt, a cricket will even tell you the temperature (count the number of chirps in 14 seconds, and then add 40 = the current temperature) but you just don't want to be disappointed if nature doesn't actually speak to you in English. Nature is Italian, so if she speaks back to you, you would need to speak the language of Dante and Michelangelo to know what was being said.

Or, just move to Green Bay, and look for the Eben Eugene Rexford statue near Brett Favre Park.

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