Monday, January 26, 2015

Birds Feast On What Bees Pollinated

Salad bar open all day long on our Holly Trees for the overwintering flocks of birds. They love the deep red berries which must be deliciously succulent to them, by the way, they swoop in and swallow beak fills at a time. Then they fly up to perch on leafless oak tree limbs watching the other birds, sort of like, people who watch other diners to see how many times they frequent the salad bar and see how much they take on their plates. 

Robins makeup some of the flocks. They look big and plump but are still ready to gorge themselves on Holly berries. I wonder, if the hard seed at the center of each berry are digested in the stomachs of birds. Probably not, or there wouldn't be Holly seedlings popping up in vicinity, planted seemingly at random, by way of bird droppings. Nature's always at work; billions of flowers produce, after pollination, a similar number of berries, which, either fall to the ground, or are distributed to the ground by bird droppings, but very few germinate to grow into trees. I guess, this is similar to humans: millions of sperm cells attempt but, only one will fertilize a egg, which may grow into a human. Nature at work !

Ronald C. Downie

Saturday, January 24, 2015

When Death Crosses Your Mind

Soon I'm to enter my eighth decade, in about two weeks, and I don't know how I've lived this long. Once, as a young teenager(late 1940's), while daydreaming about the books I had just read, Robinson Caruso and Swiss Family Robinson. Then, while climbing the large white oak tree, out back at our home on N.Keim Street, I fell out of it twelve foot down on the flat of my back and was stunned and dazed. I lay this way for quite some time before coming around from what I thought was surely death, but death coming in a dramatic bookish way. 

Years later at the Pine Forge Ski Area, where I was part owner and spent the majority of six months upgrading the skiing facilities, I looked sure death in the face again, but not so dramatically. We purchased and were installing a T bar lift when we reached the final stage, hanging the cable which would carry the T bars. I took the full roll of cable up the trail to the top of the ski slope with our front end loader tractor. Our idea was to to unravel the full roll from top to bottom, hang it on both the drive wheel and the top return wheel, then splice the cable into a complete loop at the final proper length. 

Seemed so easy, just hang the roll of cable on a steel bar hung between the tractor's three point hitch assemblage and take it down the ski slope. We anchored the end of the cable at the top of the hill, hung the reel on the tractor, and I, with some trepidations, started down the hill in the lowest gear. Suddenly, without my understanding why, the tractor began free wheeling, regardless of what gear that the transmission was in, and the tractor with me aboard went flying down the hill. Both brakes were depressed fully which proved in effective. Bouncing down the hill faster than I ever thought I could go on a tractor, I flew, but I was still unfurling the cable.

I thought to lower the bucket of the loader but quickly realized it may dig in and flip the tractor head over heel throwing me off to some tragic ending. It was taking all my effort keeping the tractor headed straight down hill. Any deviation could also cause the tractor to roll over with untold consequences. I rode it out, though, as my long life suggests. Yes, I saw death as a outcome of that day's folly, too. Neither, while up a tree deeply daydreaming; nor, playing Richard Petty at the controls of a tractor, I guess, has robbed the final Grim Reaper from taking me in my sleep. 

Ronald C. Downie

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Needing Balance

Just reported-half of World's wealth controlled by 1%of total population. No wonder the World's on fire. Can this ever be corrected? How?

Two weeks, an eternity, a period of time many hungry go without a meaningful mouthful of food. Not game
day for poor people, it's survival.

GB. Packers realize now, to be champion a team must be willing to take a championship chance. Not to try for a TD at the 1 yard line-looser.

Ronald C. Downie

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Martin Luther King- Celebrating His Birthday

From the bayous to the mountain tops Doctor King promoted non violence while urging his followers to march in unity which expressed their discontent of having to live their lives as second class citizens.

Martin Luther King followed Gandhi and Mandela in moving the World toward "A More Perfect Planet".

 *    A Special Day At Second Baptist    *

A tall steeple spires Pottstown's highest hill
Above strong walls of matched field stone.
Within, tone pitched voices heavenly trill
At Second Baptist, their soul's spiritual home.

   Are there shadows dark enough to hide
   A light within shining from deep inside ?

Below, in the valley of the Schuylkill River
Arched trees gracefully mark her gentle banks.
Finally, she's clean, clear flows this life giver.
Man's new conscience commands our thanks.

    I ask. Are there shadows dark enough to hide
    A light within beaming bright from deep inside ?

Up there, somewhere on mountains high
The heavens open, down strong rains pour
Streams, creeks, and rivers from the sky.
Water flows for all, for rich and the poor.

     Say, are there shadows dark enough to hide
     A light within glowing bright from deep inside ?

Not all rivers flow deep from recent rain water.
Thought streams and brooks of want gather
Carrying dreams for humanity's peaceful order.
We are immersed in life regardless the weather.

     Who could light dark shadows which tries to hide
     An illuminating message from the heart inside ?

King ! Why King could ! Yes, Dr. Martin could :
Spark a flint, light a candle, could ignite a flame,
Have a dream, a dream that inspired all who would 
Listen. Spread light, sing out, Proclaim ! Proclaim !
      There are no shadows dark enough to hide
      A bright light radiating out from deep inside.
      Proclaim ! There are no shadows so dark to hide
      A spiritual blessing sent from the Lord On High.

Ronald C .Downie.

Note : (1) Written for and was read at a special service honoring Dr. Martin Luther King held at Second Baptist, January 20, 2003.     
(2) This Year Dr. King's celebration will be held at First Presbyterian Church, 750 N. Evans St., Pottstown ,PA.,at 3PM., January 18, 2015.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Dogma Dilemma

Slowly dragging anchor, civilization, thru the on going epoch of thinking Man, ebbs and flows, jumping ahead when grand thoughts bring much of the populous along with it. We've arrive at today when most people have little knowledge what ideas are grand and to become earth shaking. Today is "big league boots" time, a time when grand thoughts of today will change, not our lives, but in the future, in our children's and their children's lives.

The question arrises: why do I feel so insecure at the reporting around the World of so many atrocities inflicted by man on man ? Am I right in feeling many atrocities are based on religious pinnings ? How come, from time eternal, did civilized man leap forward when grand ideas showed the way ? 

Where does religion fit into this equation ? Man can dramatically show civilization leaped forward as grand ideas mature and filters into societies. What he can not show is grand leaps due to religious ideas. Religion is anchored to beliefs of the past. It embraces antiquity steeped way back from an oral tradition where stories were finally written down and the revered book, The Bible, was formulated. Other grand books, similar to The Bible, but from other tribal traditions recorded ancient ways too and are still honored today as gospel. 

Human society leaps forward, rests to absorb, then leaps forward again, over and over, progress attaches itself to the future. Humans, looking for a sense of meaning, seek solace in ancient tradition handed down over time. Reverence for long past traditions embodies, not a spiritual experience, but a religious dogma. Belief in dogma develops nothing new; as opposed to, the depth of human ideas which, year after year, extends mans existence on this planet with other life forms that is known to man as living in concert with nature. 

Ronald C. Downie

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Our Grand Milieu 

Sometime, way back then, along the highway of human existence the killing of other humans evolved. Simultaneously, humans thinking beyond themselves, began a serious attempt to appeal to and connect with human emotion. How in the world could Man both develop a lust for the carnage of death while also develop the sensitivity of art expression ? 

Paris exemplifies the latest dichotomy. Paris must be one of the greatest capitals of artistic display in all the world ; all the while, it has in the the past week, displayed also the graphics of a human death knell tolling there. 

On the continuum of human existence, which way does the pendulum swing ? Toward carnage in a fatalist way thinking of the end of human existence, or, toward the concept of, "going forth and spreading beauty and light" that the body of artistic expression teaches. 

Life's total annihilation may come from outer space but, from here on earth, it will probably come from some lunatic fringe group gaining control over nuclear materials and when mishandled triggers a worldwide debacle. Sadly both the demented and the cultured will be completely spent. Hope not ! Though, in my mind, it seems apparent. Most likely, I won't be alive to experience Life's total demise ; but, I have empathy for my fellow humans, especially, my offspring. 

Ronald C. Downie

Monday, January 5, 2015

Song Tune

The song,
The song of life,
The song of life is played in the key of time.

Seconds tick minutes into hours for days to find,
As weeks couple, bearing months, that years combine
Into passing decades etched forever on the mind.
Friends, in chorus, help harmonize the melody Devine.

But the tune,
The tune is ours,
The tune is ours alone,
But the tune is ours, ours, all alone to find.

Ronald C. Downie

Song Tune,

Song Tune is my signature poem suggesting time is the greatest regulator of each of our lives, segmenting periods of living at song, culminating finally in our own personal tune. It is the tune, people; really, folks, it's your own tune that makes your life pulsate.