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IMG_4335There is a steady feed of videos and pictures that come our way from our daughter and son-in-law.  We never tire of watching the action or taking in the details of the pictures.  The excess of 1000 miles of separation between us and our grandson is salved by these digital exchanges.

We love being a part of his growing up.  Every day he is changing.  His size and his locomotion are the news of the day.

Once we visited and he was a mere infant.  The next time we visited and he was crawling like a spider from one place to the next.  On this last visit he was on the verge of walking.

Progress is a special reason to celebrate every day as he grows.   So much of life is wrapped in growth.  Progress and new developments give us a reason to cheer.

When he was an infant and his little body was all about rest, I looked forward to the day when his smile and laughter would make us all treasure the joy that he was bringing into all of our lives.  Videos give us a chance to be a part of those moments.  His laughter infects the cheer center of our souls.

Whether he is looking at funny birds, entertained by animals at the zoo or taking in the comical otters at the Aquarium, we love to hear him laugh.  He is all boy so his climbing adventures always include spills and falls.  When he takes a tumble, he bounces back with laughter and tries the feat again.

A distraction enters into view and he stops to look.  Curiosity is filling his brain with all sorts of entries into his life experience.  Creation is all about differences and variety.

He is easily amazed at new things.  They make him smile.  His countenance is all about the thrill of experiencing life.

Some day I will give him the Grandpa lessons of life.  I will have the thrill of filling in the details.  When his spirit is stirred and he loves what he is learning, there will be no comparison of satisfaction.

Next, I am dreaming of our conversations.  The questions are on their way.  Those inquiries are moments that I am going relish.

They will be forays about life, reasons for this and how these things work.  That is the world of grandfathering.  I am ready to give my heart to this bundle of smiles.

photo credit: KB photography

photo 1My host smiled after he invited me to wander in the woods and enjoy everything that there was to see.  “You will be perfectly safe,” his assuring words gave me confidence.  Still, there was that lingering hesitation of what was hidden in the scrub brush, mesquite and cacti of the Texas ranch.

Armed with my cellphone camera and good hiking boots, the trappings of civilization faded behind me.  The ranch bunk house, chuck wagon, ranch house and resident cowboys could no longer be seen.  I was alone.

Yet, that aloneness was not the comfort or solitude that I was expecting.  Instead, I felt that I was the object of other eyes.  Someone or something was watching me.

I stopped walking.  It is one of those human moments when you strain all of your physical senses to assess your unshakable feelings of a breach in your personal security.  There was no room for rational thinking as my first line of defense.

Slowly, I scanned my surroundings.  I knew that I was being watched.  Finding outphoto 2 who or what was now my highest priority.

My systematic peering into the tall grass paused at a toppled tree.  Underneath the fallen branch something that was not vegetation was there, on the other side.  I cocked my head to get a better look.

Whatever it was, it was big.  No, adjust that conclusion.  It was huge!

On the one hand, my city instincts told me to escape. On the other hand, my curiosity made me want to get closer and identify my source of ill-at-ease-feeling-of-being-watched.  Curiosity won.

Our eyes were locked on to each other.  It had the advantage of spying on my first.  Certainly there was no fear in its eyes.  I did not want it to sense mine.

Slowly I stepped behind a tree.  Out of sight I rapidly made up ground between us.  It was a precaution that was unnecessary.

When I peered around my hiding tree, the creature was no longer where I had left it.  It too was closing ground between us. Curiosity won in its spirit too.

Face to face, the giant Watusi from the land of Africa stared at me while I carefully took its picture.  What an amazing creature that God has created in this breed of cattle.  Its massive headdress of horns is like none other we humans have ever seen.

photo credit: brucefong cellphone photography