Search This Blog

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

A Student of Life

I preach to my kids all the time that nobody knows it all: there is always something new to learn.

And I tell them that even at my age (and even being their dad) that there are still things in life I can learn.

I tell them you should never stop learning. I tell them you will always and forever be a student of life.

Several years ago, I decided I wanted to learn more about my surroundings. I grew frustrated that people could easily identify Adidas shoes or a Corvette but don't have a clue as to what bird is singing or what type of tree they hang their hammock on.

So I bought National Audubon Field Guides to birds and trees. Trees it turns out can be tricky to ID because there's blossoms, bark and leaves to take into consideration.

Living in North Carolina, there plenty of trees. Especially pine. Hence the name tarheel.

But the eastern redbud always stands out to me. It's the tree for me that signifies spring has officially sprung. And it is also a reminder of my ties to be being raised Catholic. You see, it is also known as the Judas tree because, as the story goes, it is the tree he hung himself in after selling Jesus out. Its flowers are also said to be imprinted on the Shroud of Turin, which, in turn, gives a seasonal time to Jesus' death.

Ever since I read that little bit of info, I have always noticed that the eastern redbud tends to bloom right around the time of Easter regardless of when Easter falls on the calendar. And I always make a mental note of it.

Until this year.

The trees are in full bloom right now.

Yet Easter is almost two weeks away.

What does this mean? I have no answer. Global warming? Religion is a farce? A cooling sun?

But I do know one thing it means and that is that change is in the air...