I've decided that I now understand how some people become professional students. I find going to class to be a pretty wonderful way to spend my time. Today I had a one session art history class titled, "Spaces of the Feminine Frontier". It featured the art of Harvey Dunn, specifically how he captured women of the frontier plains.
This one, titled The Prairie is My Garden, is my favorite. He had a particularly lovely way of depicting the prairie wind. Art history is fascinating to me and this was an ok presentation. It was the lecturers art history thesis and she mostly read from her text while showing slides. I would have preferred she simply talk to us about her love for the work, but I guess I'm asking a lot. One of the cool things about going to class with people generally in their 70s and 80s is hearing their thoughts and reminiscences. At end of class she opened for comments and several people talked about their experiences growing up on working farms, or their memories of their parents working the land. Good stuff.
As I walked to my car I caught a conversation between two chickadees, each in trees on opposite sides of the parking lot.
Hear the chickadee "see me" here. That's how my mother taught me to hear them...to listen for them to invite you to hear them. "See me...chick a de de de." Hearing their song always takes me back to the north woods even though they are frequent visitors to our back yard.
I stood by my car for a bit, listening, and a gentleman classmate came up to ask what I was doing. I explained that I was enjoying a chickadee conversation and he was puzzled. He stood and listened for a bit and it was sweet to experience the moment her picked up the sounds of the birds calling to each other. He asked me how I knew it was a chickadee and I explained that chickadees and I have a long history of friendship. He left pretty excited to share with his wife his new skill of identifying chickadees and to 'google' them.
Sometimes I think we forget what a gift the outdoor world is. What kind of joy that can be found in something as simple as a bird conversation. I need to spend more time outdoors and today's experience renewed my commitment to do just that. Spring is just around the corner.