Cooperstown Crier - Your Source for Hometown News - Cooperstown, Baseball Hall of Fame

In These Otsego Hills

February 21, 2013

There's a lot we can learn from the doves

(Continued)

I have no idea what doves think about when they hold these silent meetings. I suspect they value thought. I am sure that there is some sort of intra-species imperative that calls for stillness and silence. Watching them sit so still for so long filled me with envy, as well as a sense of kinship. Having always preferred silence to its alternative, I am convinced that these sitting doves have something to teach us. I have never attended a Quaker meeting, but from what I have read and heard from Quaker friends, their meetings are similar. Anyone who has something to say says it. If not, quiet reigns. It is said that talk it cheap. That it is. In many ways it is too cheap. Spewing speech is easy; contriving thoughtful speech is harder. If, as one poet puts it, “Speech is the dress of thought,” then we ought to put more effort into the crafting of out linguistic wardrobes.

Over the past several days, as I have watched the activity at and in the vicinity of our feeders, I have noticed doves sitting on tree branches close by checking things out. I get the sense that they enjoy perching and quietly taking the world in around them. The only movement I detect is the inevitable slow swivel of the neck if a chickadee or woodpecker happens to land nearby. Their indifference bespeaks of a concern with bigger issues.

It bears mentioning that group behavior while feeding takes a different tone. The plumpest member of the group, a male, seems to feel that the table is set for him, and his buddies should keep their distance until such time that he is sated and ready to alight on a nearby branch to digest his meal. They seem willing to defer to him and find plenty of food nearby to satisfy their appetites. Altercations are brief, to the point, and communal calm is restored immediately.

The serenity displayed by that circle of sitting doves reminded me of what is possible for us. Seems to me if doves can sit quietly when in close proximity to one another we might think about emulating them. Perhaps some quiet circle sitting, maybe while nestled in a warm nest of snow and tempered by silence might just enable us to communicate with one another with less rancor. It is worth a try.

Text Only
In These Otsego Hills
  • Flash back to debate over tourism Congratulations go out to Sandy and Marshall Thorne on the occasion of their 50th wedding anniversary.

    August 21, 2014

  • Reflecting on the noon whistle Over the years we have been taken to task by readers who do not agree with our thinking. And we have never thought that to be a problem. Opinions differ and it is always good to hear all points of view on an issue. However, for what we think is perhaps the first time, we have been taken to task by a complaint that while we had taken what was an obviously unpopular position on buses within the village, we had been negligent in commenting on another issue, namely the noon whistle. In the writer’s opinion, the current issue, which we now think we understand to be the elimination of heavy traffic on residential streets, is just like the issue of the noon whistle.

    August 14, 2014

  • Summer heading toward destination We were pleased to learn that general reaction to the Hall of Fame Induction Weekend was most positive. From what we read in newspaper reports as well as what we heard from people who attended various events, the crowds really enjoyed themselves. The parade on Saturday got rave reviews from everybody who talked with us about it. Plus, in spite of what we thought when the rain hit Sunday morning, the weather overall seemed to be cooperative. And we gather that the merchants were pleased with the weekend. So we have to think it is probably safe to say it was a win-win for everyone who partook of the weekend's activities.

    August 7, 2014

  • Bringing up a matter of poetic license Since we seem to spend time each week both reading and writing, we have always found the English language interesting to say the least. It seems that it always follows the rules until it doesn't follow the rules. Thus we found Jim Atwell's column "From word to phrase to sentence," which appeared in last week's paper, to be most delightful. But more importantly, it gives us something about which to write this week.

    July 31, 2014

  • Visitings with the Widge, Mare Bear This past week we found ourselves enjoying a delightful visit from the Ohio Ellsworths. And while our daughter-in-law Annie had to attend a conference at Hamilton College during part of the visit here, we greatly enjoyed our time with them. We were, of course, quite surprised to realize how much the granddaughters, The Widge and Mare Bear, had grown since we last saw them at Christmas. Obviously, their parents had not put bricks on their heads to retard their growth.

    July 24, 2014

  • Thoughts on traffic and roads We recently enjoyed a brief visit from Jon Battle, one of our late husband's college buddies, who always enjoys visiting Cooperstown and passing howdy on the front porch. And while the front porch is not as welcoming as it used to be since there are no chairs on it, we were able to pass howdy from the comfort of our family room. And during the many subjects that we covered in our conversation, the topic of potholes came up.

    July 17, 2014

  • Potholes and oversights bring bumps We have received a number of comments regarding our discussion on potholes in last week’s column. And most of them were in agreement that the potholes are indeed a problem.

    July 10, 2014

  • Potholes need place on village agenda We have long thought that the concepts of perspective and priorities have the ability to present problems for people. As we are inclined to say, getting one's ducks all in a row is often difficult. And as we have learned about issues currently under consideration by the Village of Coopertown it does make us wonder about their ducks.

    July 3, 2014

  • Summer unofficially begins with ice cream Although summer officially arrived this past weekend, we have long thought that the kick off event for the summer season in Cooperstown is the annual Ice Cream Social sponsored by the First Presbyterian Church on Pioneer Street.

    June 26, 2014

  • Splitting logs gives splitting headache We are happy to report that Woodside Hall is continuing with its presentation of programs which are open to the public. This evening at 6:30 p.m., they are hosting Glimmerglass Festival designers Troy Hourie and Erik Teague who will discuss their role in the company's summer production of Strauss' opera, "Ariadne in Naxos: Unplugged."

    June 19, 2014