Tuesday, October 27, 2009

A Beached Whale at Sunken Meadow State Park ?


Yesterday my two older girls ran two races in a row at Sunken Meadow State Park. That they were allowed to do this was purely by accident of the officials. However, I am proud of their courage to do it, as well as their stamina.

Once a year the middle schoolers are offered a chance to run the high school course. The middle school course consists of a one mile run around a moat, often called “the mouse hole” because the trees bend over the path to look like one. The high school course adds another loop to this, which includes “cardiac hill”. This is a very rough, very steep hill, followed by a rather scary steep drop down the hill, for an added 0.4 mile.

The official failed to inform the children that they needed to choose between the two courses. So my girls wound up running both, one right after the other. They needed to do the middle school course so that the girls’ team could get a team score; so I gave them that choice, knowing that it would be difficult but that they were up for the challenge.

When they got back from the first run, my older daughter said, “I felt like I was having an asthma attack – and I don’t have asthma.” Neither of them felt up to the second race, but on they went. They completed it a little slower than normally, but they did it. I was so proud of them both.

After the race, my twelve-year-old daughter said, “I saw something weird in the water. It looked like a dead whale! It was white with speckles. I really want to see what it was. Can we go back and see it?”

So our family retraced the path. I was amazed at the conditions of the hill they had run.

My three-year-old walked the whole thing, propelled by her interest to see the “dead whale”.

“This is really dangerous!” I exclaimed.

“That’s cross-country, Mom,” said both the girls.

Then we came to the “dead whale”. It was a giant white rock, on which were perched several water birds. We all had a good laugh. I realized then that the reason she had never noticed this before during previous races was that the foliage had been thicker, hiding the rock from her view. Now that the leaves had been stripped away, you could see more of the water. I could see how, speeding by, out of the corner of your eye it could look like a whale.

So many things, as well as people, are not what they seem at a cursory glance. It is often worth taking a second look.

*I have entered this photograph into a contest! Please vote for me at http://photocontest.examiner.com/bin/Rate?image_id=1008902316

Sirach
Chapter 11(NAB)
1 The poor man's wisdom lifts his head high and sets him among princes.
2 Praise not a man for his looks; despise not a man for his appearance.
3 Least is the bee among winged things, but she reaps the choicest of all harvests.
4 Mock not the worn cloak and jibe at no man's bitter day: For strange are the works of the LORD, hidden from men his deeds.
5 The oppressed often rise to a throne, and some that none would consider wear a crown.
6 The exalted often fall into utter disgrace; the honored are given into enemy hands.
7 Before investigating, find no fault; examine first, then criticize.

3 comments:

Loren Christie said...

Really insightful post, Elizabeth!

Elizabeth Kathryn Gerold-Miller said...

Please vote for my photo at http://photocontest.examiner.com/bin/Rate?image_id=1008902316

BPOTW said...

I have learned not to judge by appearances and it usually pays off. Thanks for your post.