One of our daily walks includes the Baybrook Court Bridge that gets us from the north side of the Boise River to the south side, with ease. We never fail to stop, rest our foot on the railing, and take several minutes to appreciate the river as it meanders along, often carrying ducks and geese, and in the summer, rafts of people enjoying themselves.
You can tell from the worn spots in the paint that the bridge is well-loved. I hope that by the time I reach my expiration date I have lots of “worn spots” too. To me, it seems like a grand way of measuring one’s “loved-ness.”
“Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out, and you get loose in your joints and are very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real, you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.” —The Velveteen Rabbit, by Margery Williams
Boise, Idaho has a fantastic downtown area with a plethora of incredible signage. One of my favorites is this one for the Idaho Blueprint and Supply Co. I love that it’s three-dimensional, that it doesn’t lay flat against the building.
Every time I pass this sign I think of my blueprint, my DNA. The dictionary defines DNA as follows:
“DNA, or deoxyribonucleic acid, is like a blueprint of biological guidelines that a living organism must follow to exist and remain functional.”
“We’ve been led to believe that the goal of equality is to somehow make differences disappear yet, in reality, it is to be profoundly aware of them and to recognize them as beautiful and valuable and necessary. The virtue is not in ignoring our various distinctions, but in celebrating them; not in pretending as though they don’t exist, but in believing that their existence makes us a better version of humanity as we live together in community.” —JOHN PAVLOVITZ, from his book “A Bigger Table: Building Messy, Authentic, and Hopeful Spiritual Community”
Have you ever had your DNA tested to discover the breakdown of your ancestry?
Zipping along through the Gold Creek Wilderness Study Area in Oregon, Len and I drove past a roadside tree and then looked at looked at each other quizzically. “We’re those shoes?” we asked in unison. “Let’s turn around!”
Pulling off the road, we saw perhaps a hundred pairs of shoes had been slug up into the tree. Almost all of them tennis shoes, most of them nice. Mind you, we’re in the middle of nowhere. Someone would have to drive a long way out here—on purpose.
Click on photo to enlarge
A bit of internet research reveals that slinging shoes over telephone pole lines could mean anything from exuberance at passing a sexual milestone, to gangs marking their territorial boundaries. I also learned that the Southwest has a similar practice of placing boots upside down on fenceposts by the side of a road. And in the military, some soldiers pitch their boots over wires when leaving a post. But I didn’t find a single thing about slinging shoes into a tree. Particularly a tree in the middle of nowhere.
Ifyou’ve pitched your shoes in a similar manner, why?
We took our son out to dinner for his birthday, and after a delicious meal, we asked the waiter if he would take our photograph with my cell phone. When we dropped Evan off at his apartment, he said, “Will you please send me a copy of that photo?” As we pulled away, I sent it to him.
Before we arrived at our house—only a mile away—my cell phone rang. “Mom, did you see the optical illusion?” I had no idea what he was talking about. “Open the photo and look at the straw on the table. It looks like the right side of it is levitating.”
You’ve heard the saying, “Don’t believe everything you think.” Well, don’t believe everything you see, either.
What was your most recent encounter with an illusion?
We never fail to be awed by the many, beautiful hot air balloons that lift off from Ann Morrison Park over Labor Day weekend at the annual Spirit of Boise Balloon Classic. This year’s event was no exception.
As the air in the balloons gets hotter than the surrounding air, they rise. Walking between the balloons before liftoff, the sound is incredible! In fact, an article in the Idaho Statesman newspaper recommended that attendees leave their dogs at home because the sound—like a herd of fire breathing dragons—can scare them.
Mentally, emotionally, or spiritually, what is it that lifts you up?