I try to fill my son’s life with as much adventure as I can. I was truly blessed as a child in that department. When I was my son’s age, my parents would pack us up in the car and take off and not necessarily have a destination in mind. By the time I moved to the southeast, I had already hiked mountains, walked through deserts, traveled across country lines.
Dealing with matters of mortality over the last year has had a significant effect on how I make plans in our lives. I’ve realized that I have put way too many goals off. The comfort of laziness sets in and I end up doing nothing just a little too happily. As a result, none of us end up being happy. I do, however, seize as many opportunities as I can to teach and encourage that adventurous spirit for my son.
On our recent trip to Charlotte, we came across this Porcelain Berry vine. I had seen them before, but I was delighted to find them again. The berries start out as white and turn to pink, purple, turquoise, blue, and eventually black. You just don’t see turquoise blue as a color in nature very often. The berries are striking. That must be why the plant is imported and used as an easy to grow landscaping plant. Unfortunately, it’s extremely invasive. No responsible gardener would plant one intentionally. Even so, the berries are a delight to see. I couldn’t resist stopping for a moment to show my son this beauty he otherwise might have missed.
We found this gorgeous fellow in Marshall Park. I’m not so sure I’ve ever seen a tree so scarred. It’s the kind of thing you walk up on and say, “Wow!” with great awe. This tree must have seen a lot of history. I’m sure there were a few less skyscraper buildings shading it from the morning sun when it first sprouted from its seed. I know this neighborhood looks far different now than it did then. Many years ago, this part of Charlotte was called Brooklyn where the culture was rich and much more diverse until the powers that be bulldozed the entire 2nd ward in the 1960’s as part of an urban renewal program.
It’s not so easy to capture a kid’s attention to teach them something. One thing that’s always an easy attention grabber is an animal. I had no lesson to teach about this young duck on the day this was taken. I believe the lesson was for me to learn. We found this lively concrete pond in a park overlooked by our hotel room. Our only intention was to get out and find a green space and breathe some fresh air. It was a good chance to clear my head and release some of the stress of the day. I don’t quite function right if I don’t find some moment of peace on a daily basis. I can only hope that my son will grow up to find little walks like this just as therapeutic as I do. With any luck, there will still be green spaces left for him to enjoy with his children.