Today was the day that I set aside to spend in Bend itself and the surrounding area. After a lunch that took a bit longer than desired (which, sadly, tends to happen often when you are part of a party of ten with a lot of small children and a somewhat slow waitress) I was already late for the brewery tour that I wanted to do in Bend by the time I left the restaurant in Redmond. Rather than proceed directly from lunch to dinner, I went with my group to the High Desert Museum, and getting there was interesting because I felt it necessary to drive the speed limit because the person following me is a somewhat timid driver who does not like to go above the speed limit at all, and clearly I am someone who tends to drive in a bit more of a hurry. Anyway, as a result of having to drive slowly, we all arrived at roughly the same time, and were able to enjoy the Museum for a little time. I had never been to the High Desert Museum, or anything south of Bend approaching the Sun River area, and it was an interesting trip.
It is funny to go to a museum with children. I tend to like to read all of the notes, and watch the animals for a while and think about the scenes in the historical panoramas. Little children apparently do not do this. No, instead they run over to see animals, look at the animals for about five or ten seconds, maybe long enough to hear the name of the animal from an adult who is reading the notes for the titles at least, and then they run off looking for something else. Sometimes they run through the same area multiple times, finding new things each time, and sometimes they find something (like fish or animals that they can touch, even if it is against the rules) that holds their attention for quite a while. What held their attention the most was something that could burn their energy, allow them to run around and dig and climb and all of those other activities I remember enjoying so much when I was little myself.
One of the exhibits that held the attention of the children particularly well was a theater. The first part of the video was a series of dances. One of the dances in particular elicited a funny comment from the children I was with. A native American was dressed up in eagle feathers and doing what was called an eagle dance. The children, though, commented, “He looks like a pigeon,” which I thought was hilarious. Even if little children are not quiet during films (which, admittedly, is not always easy for me, but I suppose that is one of the several ways in which I am particularly youthful), they do make excellent film reviewers because their unfiltered thoughts are often spot on and hilarious. There is no way to deflate the ego of someone who wants to be like an eagle than to compare him to a dirty gray pigeon. Still, a child can say such things without knowing just how malicious of a comment something is, which an adult would quail at.
Of course, our time at the museum all too quickly came to an end. I had to leave around 4:30PM myself because I had dinner plans in Bend with the friends I am staying with, and the museum itself closed half an hour after that. Of course, while the dinner conversation was lovely and I managed to find good parking that didn’t end up costing me any money, which is not easy to do in Bend, not all about the evening was enjoyable. As is often the case, I found much to observe that I did not enjoy, and even reflecting on the high desert itself led me to ponder about my own life. I suppose that like the high desert, I too am starved for the rain, and have to make do with life under the sun, dry and dessicated as it is. We have to deal with the lives and the times we have been given though, whatever habitat we find ourselves in.