Tuesday, June 1, 2010


I want to crawl face down in the fields
and graze on the wild strawberries, my clothes
stained pink, even for seven years
if I must, if they exist. I want to lie out
on my back under the thousand stars and think
my way up among them, through them,
and a little distance past them, and attain
a moment of absolute ignorance,
if I can, if human mentality lets us.

Galway Kinnell, from The Seekonk Woods

I have never regretted any moment outside. As in under the sky.
Not one single moment.

I've been cozy, chilled, hot, wet, dry, stung, caressed by the breeze, and almost drowned in the sea. I've feasted on wild berries, feared wild beasts. I've watched ants for hours, and the moon forever.

I've seen life take life, and I've taken lives. I've heard the last yelps. I've eaten critters that squirmed in my hands. I watched a lightning bug flicker in desperation as a spider wrapped her silk around and around and around.

Tonight the honeysuckle blossoms steal words from my cortex, and I welcome the thieves.

June lasts forever when it comes, and is impossible to remember when it's gone. No words are needed in June. None. Life is as abundant as the light. I cannot help myself--I worship the sun now, so tangible on my skin, so obviously the giver, as it settles in the north for a spell.

Tonight somewhere in my town a child is doing homework on an early June dusk. Probably safer that way. Can't have children shirk responsibilities. Keep them indoors. They must stay focused!

Say you're a biology teacher, and, say, you know a lot more biology lies outside the textbook than in it. You're older now, with many more Junes past than any yet to be (graciously) received. What does a 15 year old child need to know? What do any of us need to know?

Ambition is well-rewarded in our culture. Delayed gratification is a virtue. If you want to be rich or powerful, chances are pretty good you won't die in the same town that welcomed your birth.

There's also a good chance you won't know where the local wild mulberries lie ripe for the picking, or where clams can be raked.

In June, my motives are clear--teach the children to see the world under their noses. The world offers riches beyond a wealthy family's dreams, but you need to go outside.

Kids know this until we teach them to forget. Most classes fit well in a classroom--a good biology class tends to ooze outwards.

1 comment:

momomom said...

One just can't help but say "ooze" come June.