February Trees

February Trees




February is the month when the light begins to change.  Days are longer and here in the Northwest there are spells of bright, clear weather.  The sun, still low in the sky, slants through the trees bringing their bare trunks and branches into sharp relief.  Bulbs push up and a few things actually bloom little yellow points.  Robins are here.


This month is birthday month for me.  Mine is the 22 nd.  When I was a kid that was also the birthday of George Washington and was a holiday, but these days they move it around so the holiday is anywhere from a week before to a few days after.  Of course I liked having a holiday on my birthday.  I knew it wasn’t about me, but I pretended it was. I never had to go to school on my birthday. And Senator Ted Kennedy was born on the very same day, in 1932, that I was.


My father was born in February, in 1904, the beginning of the century.  Three of my children were born in February of 1953, 1954, and 1957, the middle of the century.  By the time I was 25 I had three children, a boy and 2 girls.


This February is the 200 th anniversary of two really important birthdays.  By now everyone knows whose those are:  Abraham Lincoln and Charles Darwin.


Abraham Lincoln was the great heroic and tragic figure looming darkly over the 19 th Century.  He was a master of politics, of words, and of righteousness.  He preserved this country, to become what it is.  He made it possible for Obama to be elected president.


Darwin gave the world the gift of understanding and of rationality.  Many have declined that gift, but fortunately it is completely accepted, with gratitude, by scientists everywhere.  Evolution is not only the factual basis of the study of life and living things, it also enables humans to understand their context in the living world.


Bruce Alberts is the editor of Science. He wrote in the  January 23 rd issue:


            Vast numbers of adults fail to take a scientific approach to solving    

             problems or making judgments based on evidence.  Instead, they

             readily accept simplistic answers to complicated problems that are

             confidently espoused by popular talk-show hosts or political leaders,

             counter to all evidence and logic.  Most shocking to me is the

             finding that many college-educated adults in the United States see

             no difference between scientific and nonscientific explanations of

             natural phenomena such as evolution.


Darwin looked at the evidence, and he followed it where it led.  I have tried always to view the world the way he taught by his example.  I have found it a good way to live.  It permits me to know what I can know, and to distinguish that from what I and other humans can’t know.


February gave me life, it gave me children, it gave me a country, and it gave me a way to think.  February is really a great month.




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6 Responses to February

  1. dale says:

    Amen. Thanks be for the gifts of February!

    Darwin and Lincoln are heroes to me. Such humane and thoughtful men.

  2. Darlene says:

    You do have lots of reasons to celebrate this month. I may be premature by a week, but have a very Happy Birthday.

    It’s really too bad that some people are unable to accept the reality of Evolution, but remember, the Church once thought the Earth was flat. It may take a long time for some to give up their preconceived ideas and listen to the scientists.

  3. Chancy says:

    February is a good month for me also. My middle daughter was born Feb. 28, 1964. She missed being a leap year baby(on the 29th) by about an hour.

    Here’s wishing you an early Happy Birthday

  4. Mike Goad says:

    I would suppose, from your post, that there is little doubt on how you view evolution.

    February is a GREAT month. My birthday is at the beginning of the month and our oldest daughter’s is at the end of the month. I was born in ’52.

    I’m not shocked at the number of well-educated people are creationists. Of course, living in the bible belt, I have more exposure to that than folks in many other places.

    I attended most of my college classes as a non-traditional student. In one math class, the professor required the students have scientific calculators. Several weeks into the class one of the students was having difficulties and professor, frustrated, asked her if her calculator was scientific. She replied, “Of course it is. It’s solar!”

    This was the same young lady that got all huffy in a historical lit class when the professor insisted on treating the Bible as mythology, even though it was explicitly stated as such in the syllabus.

    I came over here from your comments on the Cheerful Monk blog.

  5. mary says:

    Thank you very much for stopping by my blog and thus opening a window into yours, Anne.

    I spent a happy hour perusing your entries last night. You’re fascinating lady. ‘Loved the story about your years in Germany. My husband’s mother is German and he spent part of his childhood there so he was able to identify with many of your descriptions and add to the texture of your stories. I also enjoyed your political house party. I think you might be more dedicated to Obama than I am. 🙂

    I am a Christian and I believe in intelligent design (not so much Creationism). To me it is less rational to believe that we came into being by way of a number of coincidences than it is to believe it was planned and executed by someone.

  6. Old Woman says:

    Thanks to all for your comments. Mary, I am too old to be really dedicated to any politician, I just hope. I wonder what part of Germany your husband was it. It is such a varied place. I don’t usually get into the discussion of religion versus evolution, but here’s a thought. I am not myself religious, and I can see a real conflict with a strict Biblical belief in a world created 4,000 years ago with the earth at its center. If you don’t believe in that, then I can’t see the need for intelligent design. You can believe in a God, who knows all, who creates the universe with its laws. He knows, because He knows all, where it will go, and He lets it run. Voila! you get people. Why would He need to mess with the system?

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