DAY 3: Five Day Challenge Assignment: “Free Range Kids”

He Mused to Himself

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Sitting on the sofa, by the window…reminiscing.  Somehow the conversation turned to kids today and he comments (as much to himself as to anyone in the room) that as soon as the sun was up, he was dressed and outside and his mother didn’t see him till the sun was going down.  He recollects, how nice that she didn’t have to worry about him getting abducted, molested or some other fear mothers of today possess.  (Nowadays, we rarely let the kids even play in the front yard without supervision.)

THE   STORYTELLER

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I never tire of hearing “The Indian-Way-Of Cooking-a-Chicken” story.  

When he was a lad, he and his pals would get up early and head for the hills.  This was quite a hike out of town.  They made one stealth stop on their way to the mountain, a neighbor’s chicken coop.  

LUNCH

Once they arrived at their chosen location, up in the mountains, the first thing they would do is to dig a fire pit and get a good fire going. They would then kill the chicken by chopping it’s head off and smear the carcass all over with thick mud.  After it was completely covered in this layer of mud, they would put it in the fire pit and cover it in coals and leave it to cook while they went off and played like they were wild Indians up in the mountains.

Upon returning, they would fork the cooked chicken out of the coals and crack the hardened mud off of it.  The feathers and skin would all come off with the mud they were stuck to.  (This was the punch line of this particular story, how easy it was for our first Native Americans to pluck a chicken.)  They’d eat the meat, picking around the gut area.

He is a natural story-teller, weaving lots of intricate details into these tales.  As a listener, you feel you are right there, reliving those experiences with him.  I could see myself whooping and hollering, running wild and free through the hills and forests with that pure freedom only kids with no adult supervision or intervention can experience.

Imagination turned loose.

They weren’t bad boys.  Just good chums up in the hills playing Indian.  I guess if the worst thing they ever did was to steal a chicken or two in the follies of youth, they will still pass through those pearly gates.

The days of his youth are not far away.  They live on, in his stories and in him, embedded into the very marrow of bone and tissue that make him who he is.  They live because he lives.

A living testament to the makings of free-range child, deep-rooted into this sure and steady man.

EDGE: A Metaphor

I am re-posting a photo I submitted to the Photo 101 Class Assignment, “Glass”.  With our new assignment, “Edge”, I have a wonderful metaphor for this same photo.  I edited the photo a little to make the edges more distinct.

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Edge Blue Glass

                                     A  METAPHOR

There was once a heavy drinking glass whose main function was to hold liquid.  All its edges  were smooth.  The color was a brilliant, cobalt blue.  It withstood many years of use and passed through various hands and situations.  One day, a careless person dropped the glass and it broke into three pieces.  It didn’t shatter into many pieces due to its overall strength and thickness. After the breakage, it took on a new feature.  Instead of all smooth edges, it now has some sharp edges that could actually cut someone if they aren’t careful in handling it.

Isn’t this a metaphor of life as a human?  In a new, young life, there are no rough, sharp edges.  A baby is all softness with no intention to deliberately hurt someone.  As the baby grows and comes across various situations in life, they learn that there are unpleasant things as well as good things out there.  They toddle through the growing years, falling down, bumping their head on things but, basically, stay intact.

Passing through the ages of childhood, puberty and into adulthood they have had their fair share of knocks, bumps and bruises but, if lucky, they  have withstood these things and remained intact; in fact, these encounters have made them even stronger.

Then a day comes when something so terrible happens that the tough exterior gives way, the very marrow of self is pierced and they break.  They break deeply but there is still enough parts left of who they are that they are able to function and carry on.  They have not shattered into so many pieces they are no longer useful, just changed.

They continue on with the business of living and life but notice they have acquired a new thing;  along with the smooth exterior there are now some sharp edges.  Sometimes these sharp edges can be hurtful to someone who handles them carelessly, a word or even a look may cause a reaction that stings or bleeds the other person.

Weary of living a fragmented life, the person seeks a strong glue, the kind to mend broken things.  Over time and through experimentation and trial and error, it works!  The blessed river of time washes over the sharp edges, tosses them to and fro in its current and, eventually, wears them down to  soft and smooth edges once more.  Trials require time, patience and the steady washing and wearing away the rough edges to bring us round again.

 Lines in An Old Shaker Hymn

“….till by turning, turning, we turn round right.”

Photos: Baby Hands with Poem

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Mother To Child
by Carol Lynn Pearson

Help me, child, forgive me when I fail you.
I’m your mother, True,
But in the end merely an older equal doing her faltering best
For a dear small friend.

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Mother:  Baby’s Primary Life Support.  Grandma:  Additional Support to mother and baby.

Mother’s hands once were tiny and small and Grandma’s hands once were sleek and smooth.  Hands, they reflect the passing of time and, as one season follows another, we move beyond our once established roles into another one.