To The Children's Children's Children's...From G-Pa Cliff
ZERO PLUS 1136 DAYS--New
York, NY, Saturday, October 23, 2004--
THE LEAVES OF TIME: A CHILD'S POWER OVER NATURE
Dear Children's Children's Children... Oct.
Innocence is beautiful.
Yesterday I took my grandson, Angus, who is
just a few months past his 2nd birthday, to the New York Historical
I love taking him there, for we are surrounded
by all the history of the universe, beginning with the Big Bang
display in the planetarium, to the bones of dinosaurs from 165
million years ago.
tectonic plates of the continents remind us of nature's
power over us
Anyone who thinks today is cemented in history
only has to look at the tectonic plates of continents, and how
the land and sea shift and change, ever reminding anyone of
the fluidity of life itself and the powerlessness humans have
over nature's desire for balance, harmony and perfection.
After cruising through the museum's Discovery
Room geared for young children and the fabulous frog display
that brings face-to-face about every frog one could imagine
and all the frogs' habits--good and bad--Angus and I elected
to step outside in the cool October wind and take a break.
The museum is on the West Side of Central Park
and just across from it is Diana Ross Playground, one of countless
places in the park designed with swings and sand and slides
so kids can romp and yell and enjoy the freedom of the Park's
800 acres of green delight and respite from the concrete jungle.
and I enjoyed the more than 200 live frogs on display
until January 9, 2005 at the Museum of Natural History
Angus and I were standing at the museum exit
on the cobblestones that curve in and form a driveway that is
rarely used. The wind was gushing and Angus was playing heartily,
his blonde hair ruffled by the wind's fingers, his cheeks rouged
by the crisp air.
Central Park contains some 26,000 trees, and
this time of year it seems all of them are shedding. The driveway
was littered with leaves scuttling over the cobblestones to
the orchestration of the wind gusts.
I watched Angus playing and saw him bending
over and puckering his mouth.
Then he blew.
Mother Nature's helper
As he did, the leaves tumbled, shoved by the
Angus, however, was sure it was his breath--or,
he was pretending he was Mother Nature's helper--it didn't matter.
I watched him for the longest time--a small
toddler in command of nature. He was the wind. He was the jovial
conductor of Fall, sweeping golden, crisp, crinkling leaves
head over heels around the cobblestones of New York City.
It dawned on me as I watched how innocent a
child is to Terrorism.
Here, in the magic of imagination and reality,
Angus was the world.
Time was endless, seamless.
There was Angus and leaves.
about playing with the leaves
There was life and death...the burgeoning of
the child and the end of the leaves--yet all was sewn into one
evolution, one mission.
The leaf had not yet served its final purpose.
While it gave off oxygen and shade and performed many ecologoically
balanced functions, it was still a Vigilant leaf. It was giving
Angus smiles and grins, playing with him as a child might another
child, tumbling and rolling and scuttling here and there as
Angus chased behind, half bent over, blowing at the leaf.
I inhaled the scene.
Vigilance is about preserving innocence.
No one needed to tell Angus that someone was
waiting to capture the leaf and torture it, to rip and shred
it into pieces.
Angus didn't need to know that.
He only needed to know he was the wind, and
the leaves were his toys, his friends, his playmates...and that
he would grow to know we are all leaves of the sacred tree of
To October 20 Story: "Kids! Beware The Beast Of Baseball
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