Thursday, November 11, 2010

The heart in the hormones.

Since I've been working fewer hours this week, I've caught myself wandering around aimlessly with nothing to do. Who wants to cut forsythias back and spray weed killer on brick walkways?

So late this afternoon I took my camera and walked out into the woods behind our house. When we first came here, it was pristine, quiet woodland where you could feel a gentle breeze and hear the river babbling past the rocks and tree roots. Squirrels and rabbits scampered about, and the deer wandered lazily eating their fill of acorns from the towering oaks.

Then Man-boy moved in. He was 11 then and full of grand plans for fort-building. Over the years the  fort morphed into several different designs and finally into a few separate structures. Finally it became what I call "The War Zone."

This shows only a small part of the devastation. There are chunks of plywood propped in front of deep trenches, an old picnic table with benches turned on its side, and pallets everywhere. It's the best airsoft range in the county and all the boys love to come here to play. Last time we had an airsoft war, one of the boys hid in the river and shot people up as they were trying to cross. I'm surprised the neighbors didn't call the police.

This is the original structure, modified with lookout holes.

I feel like I should go out and apologize to the wildlife for the loss of their peaceful habitat. While I was out there today, I only saw one squirrel, and he was 150 yards down the hill toward the river. They know to stay away.

And in the middle of it all is this:

That a teenage boy thought enough to fly the flag his daddy spent 20 years defending brought tears to my eyes. There's a heart in the middle of all that testosterone.

Someday Man-boy will lose interest in airsoft wars, the forts and pallets and picnic table will all rot, and the woods will be peaceful again. But our freedom will remain thanks to men and women who defend it every day for our enjoyment.

Thank you, veterans.

Be thankful ~


No comments: