Ever since watching THIS scene, fourteen years ago, in the movie Immortal Beloved about Ludwig van Beethoven (which I saw big and loud in a theater and had to restrain myself from rising out of my seat to both applaud and weep all at once), I've been in awe of his masterpiece, Ode to Joy.
This morning, when the kids and I grabbed our nature journals and made the two block trek to Coffee Creek Park for a bit of sketching, note taking, and marveling at woodsy occurrences often overlooked yet teeming with life, drama and soul stirring proofs of God, Ode to Joy rang in my ears like a siren. Pond skaters, cattails, acorns, snails and leaves mostly green but with tips of rust and brown spreading upwards as they do every Autumn before igniting our neighborhood trees with explosive shades of color (only to dry up and fall, leaving naked and gnarled branches to fend for themselves), are still a novelty to me - the former city girl more accustomed to rats, roaches and alley cats.
We'll do this weekly, observing the subtle changes in the sky, water, and soil as the weather turns cool, then cold, then back to warm again. I know so little about the secret goings on of plants and birds and insects, but there's no time like the present to expand my (currently quite narrow) breadth of knowledge. We'll learn together, the children and I. I'm looking forward to it.
1 week ago