Wednesday, September 2, 2009
Alces alces success via Bruce
Yesterday I posted about heading for a "moose hunt" after completing the bathroom vanity project. Well, the photo to the right shows the result of that drive to somewhere between Eden and Belvidere, Vermont. I conducted the normal ritual that Bruce and I had: drive slowly along the road searching for a dark hump in the marsh or along the edge of Long Pond, turn around at 'three corners' and repeat over and over again until a moose was sighted or darkness fell to the valley floor. Never before on my many trips to this location did I have such a good look at moose, or, for so long! This cow and calf were munching for nearly 30 minutes while a small crowd of silent observers witnessed their grace and beauty while slurping underwater vegetation. Bruce would have been thrilled! While watching them I imagined what our conversation would have been and well, was a bit sad he was unable to come this time.
Today I drove Bruce's neighbor and long-time resident of Johnson to see Bruce. I had offered to drive here there (because she does not like driving in 'the city' any longer). I printed this same photo and left it on Bruce's small bedside table; he slept during our entire visit (he sleeps much of the time now).
Maggie and I had a discussion about life and death today on the long (ish) drive back to Johnson and also discussed teaching and learning. Later I thought about that discussion and thought about how much Bruce has taught me over the almost 7 years I have known him. He showed me my first Moose, showed me the beauty of Vermont, taught me to appreciate and care for nature, and accompanied me on countless birding trips where we saw many 'lifers' together. We traveled from all corners of Michigan to Ohio, Vermont, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Maine. We had great discussions, we ate lobster along the Atlantic coast, we canoed, we laughed, we debated politics (of which we agreed mostly on everything), we even had the great chance to publish a few things together and one forthcoming article. My next thought was of how could something like that friendship ever be repaid. Answer: It cannot. One should just pass these things along; hopefully I can have students and graduate students who I can pass the story of Bruce on to.
Posted by J.C. Springer at 10:06 PM