1st May 2019 Labour Day
We’re 47 years apart but connected by learning for our own benefit and for the benefit of all sentient beings.
To First Tutee these days, exposure to “Charlotte’s Web,” has moved his knowledge beyond dietary laws. His world view now includes seeing the pig as a living creature that has needs for friendship and a fear of death.
He also knows that dogs have names, ancestry and personality. Meeting one on his path these days is filled less with anxiety but more with curiosity.
The default question of “Will he bite?” has morphed into “What dog is this?” Words such as corgi, poodle, labrador and homeless dogs are taking up space in his head.
As the boy learns, trees are more than potential chairs or dangerous conductors during lightning storms. They are also homes to animals, perches where angels sit and sign posts for the wandering and the lost.
He tries to resist the impulse to turn every tree branch within his reach into monkey bars. Instead, he has learnt to pause and pat the trunk reverently. Last Sunday he made art with a tree’s fallen fruits.
Earlier on when we arrived at the Botanic Gardens for our English Language work, he didn’t run head on to play. Instead the first thing he did was to point out the corner table where he planned to practice spelling later.
The silent trees seemed to have a calming effect on him and collaborated to help an easily excitable boy set his academic intentions.
And the hive of activities – jazz concert, kids playing, adults dancing, dogs running and his own trekking up and down the slopes did not distract him but centered him.
He asked for the use of the cell phone to set the timer to revise his spelling, and later on chuckled with glee that he had cleared his revision sooner than he thought.
When the day ended, even though First Tutee claimed that he was very tired as we walked to the carpark, his eyes sparkled with amazement at the sight of a athletic looking dog whose gentle eyes were the same shade of deep brown colour like his fur.
The dog’s humans acknowledged the boy’s wide-eyed wonder with steady knowing smiles.
Words are not needed in meetings like this because the mind and the heart are open.