J got our big old diesel tractor repaired at last and has begun the first mowing of the season. It has opened up some areas out back that I haven't seen for a few months.
I very tentatively approached this wasp nest for a photo. I appreciate their construction skill, but would rather avoid close encounters.
This old dead tree that fell last spring is enveloped in greenery. Nature will not be held back.
I have a newly defined purpose in my morning ramble outdoors. Yesterday's post about a CD lecture series made me realize, in part, that part of what I love about my sunrise walks is the time to ponder that is so lacking in so many lives. It is open time, without electronic input, that allows the mind to process information and lead in the direction of wisdom.
There are some more thought-provoking ideas that Professor Fears from the University of Oklahoma brings out in his concluding lecture. One is the assertion that our society today obstructs itself from progressing in wisdom because of our reluctance to make value judgments. The idea of tolerance goes to such extremes that we lose track of the fact there is good and bad, right and wrong in the world. It is our responsibility to decide what is right and pursue it.
The other assertion (which is reinforced by the book I'm re-reading at the moment, Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand) is the idea that we should celebrate ourselves as individuals. If each of us works to cultivate the best "I" that we can, the world would become a better place.
I think it is worth quoting the professor's final statement about great books that have made history. Keep in mind that it is a transcript of a spoken lecture:
"We can all change our lives in small ways and in grand ways as long as we accept the fundamental premise that life is about the individual, and as long as we are willing to learn, are willing to make mistakes and admit them, exhibit the ability to redeem ourselves -- in an individual sense, not in a theological sense -- and never give up. The ultimate lesson of the great books is to never give up. The individual must live his or her life and realize -- as both Homer and Thoreau say-- that every day offers an opportunity to begin again."
That final phrase particularly caught my eye. Every day offers an opportunity to begin again. Lessons from Homer, Thoreau, and the rising light of dawn.