Last week, we travelled to Butler,Pennsylvania to visit a much loved relative.Then we headed to Penn State, to stay with our youngest son for two days.Until now, I had not seen where he lives as he does post doctoral work for that sad university.
On the second day of our visit,he took us to Bear Meadows National Natural Landmark ,which is seven miles south of the Penn State campus.These 890 acres of boreal forest are unusual in tree and animal species and so we set off to hike the four miles around the bog.
Our different focuses were interesting.Sean tried mightily to point out bird species that we wouldn't see in Georgia and he hunted for herps;salamanders and snakes.I tra-la-laed around in amazement at the number of mountain laurel and some still blooming in dainty pink and stark white.The butterflies,bumble bees and I enjoyed these blooms,so late in July.My poor husband spent considerable time lamenting the mosquitoes feasting on his hatless head.
When we took our youngest son home the day after his birth at 9 lbs.13 ou.,he was a blank slate.If I had thought of the gene pool that he came from,the people of Wales,Scotland ,England and Ireland, I could have made some guesses that he would have auburn hair and tend to freckles.The Celts are great story tellers and he is writing a book.These islanders also revere and engage Nature in their lives and Art and so he has.But still when a child is born, what can we hope to know about what they will become ?
My grandparents never studied past the third grade.Their great-grandson has a doctorate in yes, biology, and he did it this monumental thing all on his own.His passion for this subject will lead him to uncover important knowledge and he will share this with his world.He does that now, in published articles.
Just before we finished our hike,we came to a clearing and my son said that he always stops here to look over the bog and the trees.I wondered what he was thinking as he gazed in silence and I have to think that they were thoughts of deep gratitude.I stood behind, looking at him and feeling the same.