Rainy Day Pot Pourri

*Here in the mystical MidAtlantic, we’ve got flooding. July was bone-dry; I’m scared to see my water bill from the County, even though I have rain barrels and use grey water for a lot of my garden. August was pretty wet and, ever since Hurricane Irene soaked us, we’ve been getting more and more rain. I spent (and will always treasure) the first few hours of serious rain during Irene, sitting out with my ancient oaks, giant maple, and perfect magnolias, grounding them and giving energy to the wards around my Bit of Earth. There’s something that I just love beyond words about being outside during a heavy Summer rain. Is there some experience of nature that calls to you like that? I think that if I had only another hour to live and could choose just one experience of nature to relive, it would be to be out in my garden in a heavy Summer rain.

*Star has an interesting post (based upon an interesting post by Gus) about why Paganism can’t go mainstream. I came to Paganism pre-internet, pre-Buffy, pre-Sweep. One of Star’s points is that our religion can’t go mainstream because there are too many causes associated with it. Star says: “[T]o be Pagan is to be expected to be pro-kink, pro-nudism, pro-legalization-of-marijuana, pro-sex-worker-rights, pro-homeschooling, pro-polyamory, pro-homeopathy, pro-choice, and a bunch of other things. It’s a lot of banners to fly.” I admit that I’m not signed on to all of those causes, although I am signed on to everyone having the right to choose what’s right for them. But I’m not sure that being associated with causes keeps religions from being mainstream. Evangelical Dominionists are associated with a hell (you should pardon the expression) of a lot of causes (anti-choice, anti-gay, anti-climate change, anti-evolution, anti-government, anti-immigration, anti-public education, etc.) and they’ve only become MORE mainstream as they’ve become associated with those causes over the last 30 years. What do you think? Should we go mainstream? Will we? If we should, what holds us back? Is it “our” causes? Can Paganism go mainstream in a world that is antithetical to “our” causes?

*Maybe it’s the sudden change to Autumn weather that has me re-reading myM.F.K. Fisher books. Here are a few things she said that I think are just genius:

“Dining partners, regardless of gender, social standing, or the years they’ve lived, should be chosen for their ability to eat – and drink! – with the right mixture of abandon and restraint. They should enjoy food, and look upon its preparation and its degustation as one of the human arts.”

“Or you can broil the meat, fry the onions, stew the garlic in the red wine…and ask me to supper. I’ll not care, really, even if your nose is a little shiny, so long as you are self-possessed and sure that, wolf or no wolf, your mind is your own and your heart is another’s and therefore in the right place.”

It seems to me that our three basic needs, for food and security and love, are so mixed and mingled and entwined that we cannot straightly think of one without the others. So it happens that when I write of hunger, I am really writing about love and the hunger for it, and warmth and the love of it and the hunger for it…and then the warmth and richness and fine reality of hunger satisfied…and it is all one.

*When I was young (back in the Paleolithic Era) it seemed to me as if each Summer had its own theme. There were the books that I read (free, at last, to read whatever I wanted instead of what my English teachers assigned), the callow young men who swept me away, the article of clothing that I wore the most, the defining moment of each Summer when I knew myself all alone in relationship to nature. Now that I’m an old woman, the Summers seem to speed past, faster than the pages of an old-fashioned flip book. This Summer my garden began, as Landscape Guy promised that it would, to come into its own. This Summer, I lived through an earthquake. This Summer, I did some labor-intensive writing at work of which I’m rather proud (and the results were rather gratifying. I’m, as my grandmother said, a poor winner. I like to gloat). This Summer, G/Son and I spent some rainy weekends inside baking cookies, making Avenger cartoons, watching Ponyo and LOTR, and exploring Nonna’s farmers’ market, where G/Son picked out scented soap for his mom and dad, baguettes for the birds, apples for later when we would watch Phineas & Ferb, and sampling four different kinds of honey. I took a weekend and ran up to Ladew Gardens in Maryland and spent a lovely Summer evening with long-time Circle Sisters, one of whom is now a new mom. What was the theme of your Summer? What is the one thing that you want to look back on with joy when you consider this Fall?

This, although I’m still figuring out why, is my favorite painting in the whole, entire world. It’s at the National Gallery of Art and I go to visit it at least once a month. What’s yours?

One response to “Rainy Day Pot Pourri

  1. Freddie Church. What’s not to like? The Wadsworth Atheneum in Hartford CT has a fine collection of Hudson River Valley painters, and I go back to visit them as often as I can. Ans a close cousin to them is Martin Johnson Heade. I think what they all have in common is that they show us the North American continent, and the world, as the Eden it was before industrialization spoiled it forever.

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