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Notes To The Children's Children's Children's...From G-Pa Cliff
New York, NY, Saturday, October 23, 2004--



Dear Children's Children's Children...                          Oct. 20, 2004

Innocence is beautiful.

Yesterday I took my grandson, Angus, who is just a few months past his 2nd birthday, to the New York Historical Museum.

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.

The tectonic plates of the continents remind us of nature's power over us
The 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.

Angus and I enjoyed the more than 200 live frogs on display until January 9, 2005 at the Museum of Natural History
Angus 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.

Angus was Mother Nature's helper
Angus was Mother Nature's helper

As he did, the leaves tumbled, shoved by the October gusts.

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.

Angus scampered about playing with the leaves
Angus scampered 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 the universe.



Go To October 20 Story: "Kids! Beware The Beast Of Baseball Terror!!"



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