Monday, November 02, 2009

St. Francis moment

Sunday afternoon was sunshine and beauty, so it was easy to "remember the Sabbath and keep it holy." My son and I dug in a sandpile, burying his Thomas train and then uncovering it like paleontologists. I remembered being a kid and wanting to dig up dinosaur bones for a living when I got to be a grown up.
I spotted a big grasshopper on the edge of the sand pile.
"Look at that," I told Wesley.
We carefully stepped closer to where we saw the grasshopper land and then blend into the grass. It sprang up again, waist high and landed a few feet away. Again we edged closer. It sprang up again and we followed, repeating the crouching stance of a cat. This time, we asked the grasshopper if he would let us look at him for a minute. I placed my palm up on the ground, and the grasshopper climbed on. I raised him close in front of our faces.
"See his green eyes, and see there under his legs: you can see him breathing!"
Wesley stood and watched in amazement.
"Why is he sooooo so green?" Wesley liked the idea of being green.
"He's green so that he can jump into the grass and be hidden from animals that want to eat him." We looked at the grasshopper longer.
"Look, see his big hind legs? That's why he can jump soooo high." The grasshopper takes the cue as we stand back up, and it jumps off my hand.
"If we had legs like grasshoppers, we could jump over those trees, or right over the church! We could just stand right here and decide, I'm gonna jump over that tree, and do it without even taking a running head start. That's how big we are to the grasshopper, and you saw how high he could jump." I turn around like I'm going to jump over the church, eying the steeple like I'm going to skip right over it, and then I jump as high as I can. Wesley laughs, and then jumps as high as he can.
"Like this?" He says and turns around with his shining eyes pointed at the top of the old pecan tree, and jumps.
"Yup," I say.
Then he runs around and jumps, enjoying his life as a grasshopper.

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