I grew up in an extended family that was not, by any means, excessively schooled in formal classroom settings. That does not mean to infer a lack of intellectual ability or wisdom. Rather the collective insights often gained were from astute observations garnered from a lifetime of being outdoors much of the time. I am reminded of the book All I Needed to Learn Came From Kindergarten. Their book might have been similar but the title ending in Mostly From Nature.
A significant part of The Mantra carried forth in my Family Collection of Life Lessons centered on what Nature could teach us. One that stands out vividly in my Old Brain is about the anatomy of the human face.
Full Disclosure is warranted here. My Mom said I came out of the womb with a story to tell. It did not take long for me to develop the art of excessive exaggeration. Likely it is not by accident that my long career centered somewhat on the use of words, both spoken and written.
During one of many long-winded stories in my Youth, an elderly neighbor whose family still carries the same common land boundaries with us, now into the 4th generation, made a comment to me that still resonates some 6 decades later.
“Boy, he drawled. You ever notice how the Good Lord created the human face?” I am sure my puzzled look betrayed the confusion. He continued, “He gave us two eyes and two ears, but only one mouth that sits between each pair of the others. I reckon that is because HE wanted us to look AND listen with both sides of our brain before we said anything.”
In truth, the EXACT words he used were a GOOD BIT more colorful than this toned-down version. But the point he made was a good one and that wisdom has stuck with me and been confirmed over and over in my own interactions with and observations from time spent outdoors.
I have read and written more than a few words about the land and creatures, domestic and wild, that make up La Brasada. But those attempts to understand and/or explain came as much from being out there and involved with the animals, dirt, and vegetation as any book learning obtained or chronicled.
I am the very first to admit what I have gleaned over the years is a small drop in the bucket of what is available to learn from the University of Nature. But let me be as clear as possible with this parting thought. It is still a WHOLE LOT OF FUN to be blessed with the opportunity to keep on attending that FINE institution of learning. I have no plans to ever stop taking classes and trying to learn more!