The Spirit of the Swamp

 

 

An airboat

 

I’m on sabbatical, which is why I can be in Florida now while BYU is in session.

 

But I’ve still got plenty of things that I’ve promised to get done, and that I want to get done, while I’m on sabbatical, which is why (for example) I’ve skipped out on the theme parks while I’m here — twice, thus far.

 

I’ve had some fun here, though.  For example, some of us went, the other day, to an exhibit on “Rembrandt, Rubens, Gainsborough, and the Golden Age of Painting” at the Orlando Museum of Art.  Several of us spent this afternoon on an airboat and on an island in the headwaters of the Everglades.  We saw cormorants, water lilies, alligators, egrets, turtles, herons, water moccasins, bald eagles, and “swamp chickens.”  It was great to be out in the wilds and the open air.

 

Water Lilies, by Claude Monet

 

(Claude Monet had a great advantage over any American competitor he might have had, in painting his 250 water lily studies.  At Giverny, there were no alligators to eat him while he worked.)

 

Tonight, with my wife and a local friend, I had dinner at the Cedars Restaurant with the interim director of the Orlando Regional Medical Center and his wife, both of whom are Muslim Americans of Lebanese background.  It was a pleasant evening, and, on behalf of . . . well, nobody anymore, I presented him with a copy of the Middle Eastern Texts Initiative’s bilingual edition of Moses Maimonides, Medical Aphorisms 1-3.

 

Posted from Orlando, Florida

 

 

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