What does a man say when words become inadequate to express the pathos within him? The photos I have selected are of my grandson-my first grandchild. He was born Wednesday, October 16 at 3:12 pm CST. My wife, Cheryl, took these images within the first two hours after he was born. Tears well-up as I stare into his eyes. His name is Elliot Michael and he is small, but oh so beautiful. Of course, every newborn is a beautiful gift and I gladly acknowledge my bias. Cheryl’s images are vital to me as they reveal how wonderful my grandson appeared shortly after his delivery into our world…his world now.A flood of memories crossed my mind as I studied this little guy. I remember the days when our children were born, and the feelings that went along with those effulgent moments. I watched my daughter and son-in-law as they transformed from two people in love to a family of three…never to be the same again.Not every child born is healthy or whole. Some have deformities, some have disabilities, some addictions, and some no food. Too many have no parents to hold them and cradle them. So, I submit to you that Elliot is among the fortunate, the blessed. There were complications which could have resulted in physical issues, but they didn’t. Had they, Elliot would still be fortunate. He has a mommy and daddy who adore him. He has grandparents and uncles and aunts that are thrilled he arrived. He has and will have all of his material needs met. So will he have his emotional and spiritual needs nurtured by a loving family. He has, and is, so much.What will my grandson’s future be like? Only God knows for sure, but I know he will like the St. Louis Cardinals; he will enjoy the great outdoors; he will make a lot of people very happy; and he may break a few hearts along the way! His may be broken, too.I couldn’t help but think of the Christmas story and the verse in Isaiah which predicted the birth of Christ…”For to us a child is born, to us a son is given”. Elliot Michael has been born, and in a very real sense he has been given to us. It seems as though the passage of time moves ever so swiftly. So, we must enjoy the journey and cherish each moment. Raising a child is not always easy and can be quite challenging, but the reward is well worth the investment in time and energy. We can lavish material resources upon our children until absurdity becomes evident, but we can never love too much. Thanks Ramie and Matt for giving Cheryl and myself another opportunity to cuddle a baby, your baby, our grandson. How utterly amazing is the birth of a child. Welcome home, Elliot.
The senses, especially our eyes, are treated to an explosion of color when the season changes from summer to fall. The foliage in our area is late this year to turning various shades of color due to milder than usual weather conditions. However, two weekends ago I was treated to this vivid reminder of how beautiful Autumn is (and will be). The subject matter is not extraordinary, but merely a potted plant at a local hardware store. The photo was taken with my Samsung’s camera. No enhancement was performed, and that’s the beauty of this image. It’s pure natural delight!In contrast to the first image with the noticeable fall-like colors of ambers, oranges and such is this simple rose. Cheryl named this bloom The Last Rose of Summer (at the time she took this photo it was the last rose in her flower garden). The vibrant red petals and striking green leaves contrast sharply with the variegated plant above, yet both reveal the magnificence of nature’s glory. Soon, the trees and vines will burst into myriad colors, like a fireworks display, and the grass will give way to a carpet of leaves. The smell of burning wood will waft over us like perfume and wild animals everywhere will be scurrying about in preparation for winter. Football is in full force, and The Boys of Summer are playing like there is no tomorrow. A stroll in the woods can become a nostalgic vehicle for memories of carefree days when youth was innocent and the great outdoors was a giant playground. Speaking of vehicles, I couldn’t resist.
What to my wondering eyes did appear, but several fungi sprouts. I looked out our kitchen window the other morning, after a good bit of rain the day before, and saw that these mushrooms had popped out of the ground overnight. I can imagine the ground parting and the stems erupting into canopies of white. Such a striking contrast to the green grass and colored leaves beginning to fall to the ground.There used to be a Ponderosa pine tree at this location, but I had to cut it down two years ago. The stump was ground down well into the earth and dirt plied over the spot, and grass planted. However, the fungi found exactly what they needed in the organic soil. The weather conditions must have been perfect, as well. I dared not try to eat any of these mushrooms for fear of poisoning or hallucinations! Besides, I don’t like mushrooms. I do find them fascinating to observe…so many shapes, sizes and colors.After three days they were still standing tall…until I ran the lawn mower over them. All good things must come to an end-even unexpected mushrooms. Perhaps you might have tried one?