|June 2014, early sighting of Gimpy|
Photo by J. Harrington
Our "Gimpy" turkey was first mentioned in these posting almost exactly three years ago. I think I saw him again this morning. A small flock of four birds was wandering through the yard as I let one of the dogs out so she could "powder her nose." That caused three of the four turkeys to start running like miniature ostriches. The fourth did penguin-like hops as fast as possible to get away. I'm guessing, and hoping, that the fourth bird was/is Gimpy. I can't think of any other reason that a turkey would be doing a penguin-hop, unless, like Gimpy, it was missing a foot. Neither am I inclined to accept the probability that we've had more than one one-footed turkey living in the neighborhood over the past several years.
There's one other significant reason I (want to) believe it was Gimpy I saw hopping away this morning. That idea that a one-footed turkey can survive our coyotes and eagles and hunting seasons and automobiles gives me hope, that thing with feathers I need much more of these days. They claim the average life span of a wild turkey is three or four years. Assuming it was Gimpy I saw this morning, he's managed to live about that average turkey lifetime and maybe a little more, despite a significant physical handicap. Maybe we'll all survive the next few years of our own self-inflicted handicaps. Maybe this will become a time...
Of History and Hope
We have memorized America,how it was born and who we have been and where.In ceremonies and silence we say the words,telling the stories, singing the old songs.We like the places they take us. Mostly we do.The great and all the anonymous dead are there.We know the sound of all the sounds we brought.The rich taste of it is on our tongues.But where are we going to be, and why, and who?The disenfranchised dead want to know.We mean to be the people we meant to be,to keep on going where we meant to go.But how do we fashion the future? Who can say howexcept in the minds of those who will call it Now?The children. The children. And how does our garden grow?With waving hands—oh, rarely in a row—and flowering faces. And brambles, that we can no longer allow.Who were many people coming togethercannot become one people falling apart.Who dreamed for every child an even chancecannot let luck alone turn doorknobs or not.Whose law was never so much of the hand as the headcannot let chaos make its way to the heart.Who have seen learning struggle from teacher to childcannot let ignorance spread itself like rot.We know what we have done and what we have said,and how we have grown, degree by slow degree,believing ourselves toward all we have tried to become—just and compassionate, equal, able, and free.All this in the hands of children, eyes already seton a land we never can visit—it isn’t there yet—but looking through their eyes, we can seewhat our long gift to them may come to be.If we can truly remember, they will not forget.
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