Sunday, May 31, 2009

Thinking About Flowers

A few weeks ago we spent a warm sunny Sunday evening at Temple Square here in Salt Lake City.  I love flowers; they are among the things, along with music, sunsets, the sweetness of little girls and the laughter and pure joie de vivre of young boys, that make me believe in a benevolent God.

I know evolutionary biologists have explanations for flowers and colors: how plants developed all colors as a survival mechanism, to give them distinction and advantage in a quest for the love of bees and other necessaries; how our eyes learned to register different frequencies of light as color because it gave us survival possibilities not present in those with out such a blessing;  how all of this is the logical result of an all-consuming survival imperative in competition for limited resources.  Perhaps; but I see God in the fact that such a brutal, chaotic system can produce such magnificent beauty and order.  For me, as it was for Einstein, it is this inexplicable yin from the yang of chaos that testifies of divinity.

When I think that the survivable sphere of our existence is perhaps five or six miles from top to bottom; that above it there is nothing but killer cold and life sucking vacuum, and below it only  unsurvivable heat and crushing force; that we just happen to be the perfect distance from life-giving light and heat so that we do not fry or freeze; and that in all the vastness of the universe, this less than microscopic little space prevails against gravity (or its absence) and other gargantuan forces that threaten to rip it apart, I am in awe.  

That it produces the miracles of flowers and beautiful girls is beyond comprehension, and proof enough of God for me.  I think no other explanation possible.

So here is to the flowers, and all they stand for.  Some say in heaven the streets are paved with gold.  I don't know about that, but I think the air is filled with music and the laughter of boys, there are flowers as far as the eye can see . . .

and the sky is always in sunset.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

My Favorite Series

Spring means many things for us, but new to our lives is spring soccer.  It is a fitting activity;  few things capture the joy of spring like young boys running in the sun on fresh-cut grass.  That spirit is evident in the five photos that follow, in what has to be one of my favorite series of photos in a long time.  

First, the pell mell break from the typical rugby scrum, otherwise known as pee wee soccer.

Next, the goal comes into sight.

Getting in close, and angling to the corner past the pesky goalie.

Realizing with confident satisfaction what just happened.

And jumping for all he is worth.  

If that is not the actual embodiment of life and joy, it nonetheless makes a great substitute.  He was so happy.  Long live the mighty Orange Pumpkins!  

Of course, like spring, that joy sometimes doesn't last as long as one might wish.

Here is Alden trying desperately, a few minutes later, to stop the opposing team from scoring.

And this is the result when he couldn't. 

So, do you think he has a little competitive streak in him, or what?  Disappointments notwithstanding, it was a great day.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Trouble Beyond Compare

I have known since about a month or so into my relationship with my wife that she was so much smarter and more capable than me that it was just silly (should have known it a lot earlier than that, but I am a little thick in the "there are people in the world smarter and more capable than you" department). I have now discovered the same thing about my daughter. The other day she used the word "retroactive" properly in a sentence. She is 9 years old. I am sure I did not know that word until my first year of law school.

Then, on top of that, she gave this note to my wife for Mothers Day today.

I did not know who Shakespeare was until I hit high school. Kate is already using him to praise her mother, and I am certain I would fumble in any attempt to outdo her here, so I won't. There are those who would say that having two women in your family that are smarter than you is nothing but trouble.  If so, I have trouble beyond compare. 

Happy Mother's Day from perhaps the fifth most eloquent person in your family, sweetheart.  You are an amazing mom raising remarkable children, working a challenging job, volunteering, cooking, cleaning, and caring for others, all at once.  It gets lost in the whirlwind sometimes, but I love you madly.