Bird Droppings July 16, 2011
A lone lightening bug doesn’t leave an easy trail to follow
I was reading last night and a blog reminded me of my own thinking so many years ago. I recall sitting in an apartment alone waiting for the morning so I could go to work, alone in the dark. I had no family near by, really no friends near by as all had moved on were married or were in school away at the time and many were in Viet Nam as soldiers drafted, as there was a draft at the time. I went out yesterday and as I walked back to the porch a lone lightening bug was walking up a stem of Bermuda grass which has gotten pretty tall I need to mow. I have tried for several years but it seems our sulcata tortoise doesn’t like Bermuda grass and I can pull grass for her from patches of our yard where fescue, Johnson grass and weeds abound because I do not mow there regularly. When we can put tortoises on out in the yard they are kind of a cool lawn mower, all hundred pounds or so. I watched this lonely bug climbing and then fly off into the forest.
I wandered back in my own life to days alone sitting on a hill in an apartment with no one within a hundred yards. For nearly a year that spot in Pennsylvania became the center of the universe while I was awake, wondering. I was very selfish as look back and at the time it was hard to focus beyond that point. I have been trying to understand the self motivating behavior and self centeredness of teenagers lately. As I look back to that time my job was getting teenagers to volunteer and work with disabled children and we had several hundred involved and active. However while they were involved in volunteering they were very sincere and dedicated yet away from that and the self centeredness would came back. I was reading a blog where a word caught my attention sheepeople. We are often like sheep, the herding instinct in tow following the crowd. Occasionally a loner pops up and strays.
I hope my lone lightening bug finds whatever it is he or she is looking for as it flitted off. For many years I have observed students who go over board in class, some would say hyper active and it is a good catch word and they drive teachers crazy. Interesting thing is they get attention. As I came in one day one student was sitting quietly by himself and not doing anything. I watched for five minutes or so, no weird noises or behaviors and then his friends filtered in, still no weirdness. I am always impressed when you observe him in his classes and depending on the situation his behaviors, language, and attitude change. Is this choice behavior or is this behavior of a student who is really alone and seeking attention of an adult even though negatively.
I wonder if much like the lightening bug flashing was it to get my attention no one else was around and had I been a few minutes either way would not have seen it. Could it be a coincidence? We live in this world so full of indifference and so stressing for so many, it is no wonder at times people find them selves alone be that self imposed or not. Here is a student who self imposes isolation at times through behaviors inappropriate for the moment and yet draws himself back into the group through the interactions with students and teachers without engaging in effect. Has the behavior been effectively reinforced over the years be it positive or negatively. Have certain antecedents effectively elicited behaviors or is it literally without thinking and choice involved. I wonder and I wonder where the lightening bug flew too.
I walked out to one of my datura plants first thing to get a photo with dew drops on the flower as they only bloom at night. Each morning lately the moon is higher in the sky and getting smaller. Yesterday as I walked out around ten o’clock in the evening the moon was nearly over the house fading away into the cloud cover we have had for two days and rain thankfully. I have a large note beside me as a reminder to look up some files on a student I had for four years hopefully I will not forget today, old age and my memory is going. Maybe today politicians will have a spark of humanity and decide to have a bipartisan debt meeting and succeed in this financial mess we are living with. . Please keep all in harms way on your mind and in your hearts.