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Monday, June 6, 2011

And This Whole Time I Was Thinking Snakes

So, I'm in the iris bed, one of many at our house. An iris is a rhizome, not a bulb, and puts out rhizome buddies from a single rhizome, which can then be snapped off and replanted.

That's all the botany I know.

We ignored the iris (and what's the plural of iris? Irises? Probably something really grammary like "iri") for years when we moved in. Then my daughter and I dug up and separated them and when we replanted we had over 400. Now, it's time to do it again because they don't all bloom and that same daughter who is now grown, married and in her own house said once, "It'd be nice to have some iris at our place" and I'm planning on scoring big father points with her when I bring them over.

I'm not afraid of the outdoors, in fact, I enjoy my time there. I've even become accustomed to the creatures I encounter there, except for the stingers, the nefarious bastards of the property. But the rest I can deal with, including, and I really can't believe I'm saying this: snakes. I mean to say that the overwhelming urge to destroy a garter snake beyond recognition no longer takes over my entirety when I see a little rustling in the grass.

I've raked a few snakes from the bed over which I toiled last night and as I used my fingers to rake last season's leaves and debris from between the iris I wondered if I would encounter another. Surely, escape would be their only thought when they sensed my presence. And then I laid my hand squarely on the back of a turtle.

There is something to learn in every experience, it's the teacher in me, even if the lesson is how truly crappy some experiences can be. So what, I wonder, is the lesson of the turtle? Most fears in life are unwarranted? It's not the thing you fear that will ultimately get you? An unexpected turtle can make you wet yourself a little while working in the iris bed?

The teacher in me knows that some lessons take longer to suss out than others. And this one will stay with me for awhile.

My wife did teach one quick lesson about turtle encounters when I returned. I had to wash my buddies sal and monella off my hands before I could touch her or anything else.

Hmm...turtles must not be very picky about their friends.

Aha! Another lesson!


Tracey - Just Another Mommy Blog said...

I cannot imagine finding a TURTLE. That's just so... Wild Kingdomish.

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Mike's book montage

Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life
Girl with a Pearl Earring
The Book of Ruth
The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream
Teaching the New Writing: Technology, Change, and Assessment in the 21st-Century Classroom
Teacher Man: A Memoir
Ghost: Confessions of a Counterterrorism Agent
Dumbing Us Down: The Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory Schooling
Schools That Work: America's Most Innovative Public Education Programs
Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong
A Death in Belmont
The Tipping Point
The Bible: A Biography
Magical Thinking: True Stories
Warriors Don't Cry: The Searing Memoir of the Battle to Integrate Little Rock's Central High
Reading Judas: The Gospel of Judas and the Shaping of Christianity
The Ghost Map: The Story of London's Most Terrifying Epidemic--and How It Changed Science, Cities, and the Modern World
I Feel Bad About My Neck
The Shack

Mike's favorite books »