Monday, June 13, 2011

The World is Too Much With Us

I approach nature from a very philosophical, almost spiritual point of view.  I'm apt to go on about it's beauty, the circle of life, or badly quote Romantic poets.

My boys aren't as dorky as I am.  They're more scientific. They want to know the whys and whats of things.  They're both excellent observers and pummel me with questions.  Why does horse poo have hay in it? What are those feathery plants called?  What do black widows eat?

Some questions, like the horse poo one, I can conjecture myself.  Others, I have Granddaddy's forest lore to thank (two different plants were being referred to as "feathery": an enormous fern and some clubmoss, also called crow's feet).  Many times I don't have the answer and if we can't find it in the field guide we carry, we write it on an index card and look it up when we get home.

We had dinner with my dad and step-mom Sunday evening and the boys were still talking about the black widow we saw on Saturday's Park Quest. Matt excitedly told my dad that black widows eat flies, moths, cricket, cockroaches and even other spiders!

I love that he and his brother get so excited about the natural world.  Because of that, I find myself looking more things up and expanding my own knowledge so that I can better help expand theirs.

While we were at dinner, a thunderstorm came through and it rained and blew and bellowed.  On our drive home, we could see the clouds in the distance colored by the setting sun.

"Look how beautiful the sky is!" Matt said. It was beautiful and I remembered my Wordsworth.

"The winds howled for hours and are gathered up now like sleeping flowers," I said.


"Just pretty words a man once wrote for pretty clouds."

In the rearview mirror both boys smiled--our views more compatible than one would think.

- - - - - - - - - - -

The world is too much with us; late and soon,
Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers:
Little we see in Nature that is ours;
We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!

This Sea that bares her bosom to the moon;
The winds that will be howling at all hours,
And are up-gathered now like sleeping flowers;
For this, for everything, we are out of tune,
It moves us not.--Great God! I'd rather be
A Pagan suckled in a creed outworn;
So might I, standing on this pleasant lea,
Have glimpses that would make me less forlorn;

Have sight of Proteus rising from the sea;
Or hear old Triton blow his wreathed horn.
--William Wordsworth


  1. Link for you.

  2. Thanks! I'm sure I've seen that plant somewhere. This may call for some exploring at Gran's Thursday night.