Monday, July 28, 2008

Two Herds and a Question Mark

The beautiful animals must be guided by the herd instinct. They were mainly brown in colour and they lumbered across the field with one in the lead. As they walked they stopped from time to time to eat more grass. I think there is nothing more idyllic on a hot summer’s day than a herd of cattle. They were at peace with their surroundings, eating, then pausing in the warm afternoon for a sleep after they are full and with their caves in tow. I took their photo as seen here.

Yesterday as we traveled to and from Port Hope for the church service with our friends we saw many such herds enjoying the afternoon sun.

But there was one herd that made me stop and stare. They were so unusual.

They numbered 9 in all. They were beautiful creatures all about the same age. I estimate that they were just past the “calf age” and were now in their early adult age – just prior to mating. For this herd I did not have my camera and would have maybe in trouble if I had openly taken their photo.

The herds were very different. The first one was in the field and the other was in the Subway Shop of Port Hope. No they were not cattle in the Subway Shop of Port Hope but rather a herd of early university students dressed in their Sunday duds for a hot day together.

As we were about to enter the Subway Shop I opened and held the door for my mom and my wife. Before mom and my wife could enter, “The herd” had to come out. They came through the door giggling and talking rapidly to each other…oblivious to those around them.

It was their dress code that drew my attention. They all sported shorts with a variety of different tops. Most had on low cut tops and were well groomed. Hair was right, eye liner was near perfect and nails done well. They could have stepped out of a fashion magazine. They were well done to say the least – except for one factor.

Most were wearing high heel shoes that made them wobble. Their high heels were way too high but certainly gave the young legs a look of – “Wow”. The wearers of the shoes had not practiced a lot on these “mini stilts” it was plain to see. Negotiating the last little step out of the shop almost toppled the last one as her heel went over to the right.

The scene reminded me of the scenes on TV caught by a closely viewing audience over and over again as both Miss Universe Pageant’s participants, Miss USA 2007 and Miss USA 2008 both took a tumble off their mini stilts.

(On the side – I am convinced that Stock Car Races and Beauty Pageants have much in common. People watch to see the crashes. Pretty cars and Pretty legs help too…mind you)

Am I against High Heels? Nope. You can wear what you want to. But as you do I will be thanking God that I am a man and have never been subjected to that kind of silliness and torture.

When we lived in Hong Kong and traveled in China we had the opportunity to walk through different museums. In the one museum there were samples of shoes worn by women generations back when the girls and ladies of the upper class society had their feet bound. It was gross to view the very descriptive photos of the tortured feet of these poor ladies.

If you don’t understand the idea of foot binding you need to do some research. When the girl was very young and in the growing stage spurting through childhood her feet were tightly bound with cloth and ropes to keep them from getting large and long. As she progressed through her teen years her feet were kept tightly bound by her servants until she reached adulthood and from then on she was carried in a chair by the servants. She was guaranteed to be a cripple for all her life with the stupidity of the foot binding practice – all because of societal pressure to be “beautiful and different” from the commoner.

Back to Port Hope…
After the small herd left the Subway Shop another smaller herd came in. These were fresh young things as well – about the same age as the last group. These also wore shorts and had on comfy tops. But what a difference as you looked at their feet… they sported just old and tired running shoes. The dead give away was the black plaint that the one girl had spattered all over her brown legs and arms. This was a working girl – beautiful but not belonging to the last herd… and she didn’t wobble either.

Now some will think that I am against girls that try to look pretty. Nope again.

I just question why both men and women do such silly things to try to be who they are not.

Oh I do it too. I wear ties and suits to try to make people think I am someone else on Sunday, instead of the guy I am from Monday to Saturday. I try to look Holier on Sunday than I am the other days of the week.

I lay that traditional teaching on my parents who taught me that dressing like that was something you did for God on Sunday when you attended his House. All of their families did it – so they did it too.

But the Bible says something about us all being naked in front of God – doesn’t it? In fact when Eve and Adam sinned – the first thing they did was cover up with the best leaves they could find.

Maybe that is the secret – we try to put on all this stuff and act in certain ways because we are covering up – or being something we were not intended to be… or something others want us to be.

Something about dumb cows that I admire is they don’t try to put on any special airs to make themselves into something they are not. They are just cows… and cows are beautiful.

My reflection today is that God sees me for who I am not what I try to become. I am still plain old Murray underneath. It doesn’t matter much what kind of house I live in or what kind of car I drive. What really matters is what is in my inside.

But – man of man… am I ever glad that I am a man and that men don’t have to wear high heel shoes!

~ Murray Lincoln ~

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