There are many many things to admire and respect in Ed, but the trait that came to mind today is his utter tolerance for another one’s conduct. Let them alone, it’s none of your business – these are his words, even when he doesn’t say them.
There is in there (though he wouldn’t admit it) a healthy respect for anyone’s life and for decisions people make in directing their own futures. Sure, if someone is hurting another, especially an animal, he’ll be appalled. But anything short of that is just one person’s life – not yours to grumble about or make fun of.
Of course, we all think that this describes us as well. We think we’re good at minding our own worlds, that we let others be who they are. But Ed doesn’t deeply think these things through. He just, by life’s habit, isn’t concerned with the conduct of others.
On the downside, I can’t get him riled with a story of a colleague’s misdeeds or the occasional student’s audaciousness. He’ll look at me puzzled and ask – why do you care? What does that have to do with doing your work well? That’s a conversation stopper, right there.
In other news – we continue to have summer. I don’t think we’ll quite hit 100 days of summer, in fact I believe today was the last of the hot (eighties!) days, but still, it’s been quite a remarkable run of it.
I biked to work. Of course I did. And I took the long route. Eight miles in, fourteen on the return. I was rewarded with a nice display of sandhill crane love. He was flapping his wings, she was ignoring him (but not really) and so it continued, until he settled down to follow her in the more quiet manner that seemed to appeal to her.
On campus, kids were sprawled out on Bascom Mall in various states of repose and undress. You could do a catalogue of good photos right there, but I'll show just this one. I like that he rests just outside the Education door. He seems quite ready for education.
After classes, I meet Ed at Paul’s café. Ed sleeps, I work, then we both bike home.
In the fields across the road from us, the truck farmers have been working now daily. This evening, I watch one as she sits with her grandchild. It’s a moment of rest. The boy is taking a sip of something, she is encouraging him. Around them, the fields are no longer brown. This gift of good weather is not just felt by me. It’s hers and his too.
At the farmette, the fruit tree exploded in bloom overnight. Is it a plum? – I ask Ed. Don’t know. Maybe. Or a sour cherry.
We’re not very good at identifying trees.