Fall at last, Fall at last, thank God almighty, it's Fall at last! Now that Persephone has departed for her Autumnal sojourn Down Under (where she is making a spectacular comeback), We have arrived at the most breathtaking time of year in Maine. The hills are already choosing their hues for the Fall Fashion extravaganza and the air is crisp with anticipation.
On a closer-to-home and more personal level, Fall is presenting me with a much longed-for opportunity for revenge. Now that the climate has reinvented itself those carnivorous raspberry and blackberry vines are a little less full of themselves. I sharpen my pruning shears in full view of them. I can sense their arrogance and fight have waned. All summer long as I mowed along their borders they consistently harassed and violated me despite every effort to avoid and not provoke them. The old saying says that revenge is better when served cold. Well, it's been a month or so chilling on the sill and about to be dished up. Bwa ha ha ha! They are insidious. They constantly ignore the fencing erected in a treaty agreement--'This is the line, you can have everything on that side and I get everything on this side'. They tunnel beneath to spring up in open lawn. They parachute over and attack all comers. Arrogance. Cocky, narcissistic arrogance. I had the same agreement with the sumac grove. They adhered politely. The same was true with the golden rod and rhubarb. But not the berries. Oh no, not them. From the start they attempted to usurp my authority and overthrow my government. Mother Nature had other priorities so there was no appeal. They entered into an axis of evil with the birds. The berries bribed them with food in exchange for smuggling their seeds to the far reaches of my realm whereupon they sprouted, thus dividing my attention and energies. The retribution I have in mind for them would be less severe had they been as generous with their fruit with my household as they were with the birds. Their all-consuming intent on the conquest of my lawn and resolve cost them their entire inventory. It will prove to be a hollow victory. As the temperature dips my vindictiveness rises. The day of reckoning approaches!
Today has been a most extraordinary day. A day vibrating with religious and spiritual moment. Apparently, and unbeknownst to me, it is 'recruitment day' in rural Maine. Between the hours of 1 pm and 3 pm my little porch was descended upon by representatives of the LDS church, the Seventh Day Adventists, and Jehovah's Witnesses. They hit the neighbourhood at staggered times but converged en masse all at once--no more than 5 minutes apart--on my porch.
As a not-ready-for-prime-time-Christianity person, recovering Catholic with Buddhist/Celtic sympathies it was a remarkable meeting of dogma, theology, spin, and interpretation. One might expect it to have been an uncomfortable tension-fest. One would be mistaken. Everyone was amused at the coincidence, everyone partook of lemonade, decaffeinated green tea, and peanut butter fudge. And the best part--people addressed their biases and prejudices about each other's religious beliefs! Openly and genuinely sharing their stories and journeys. When everyone was gone I couldn't help but think that this was probably the best grass-roots ecumenical convocation ever! At one point my mother joined the group and was graciousness personified. She listened patiently and asked thoughtful questions. In the end she simply said: "I don't understand everything you believe or why you believe it, but, in the end, it's all about loving each other and respecting one another's humanity". I was so proud of her.
Tonight on the evening news I heard that the Pope is making a papal visit to the United Kingdom--the first ever. Beginning in Scotland (John Knox will spin in his grave) and then down into England. As titular head of the Anglican Church Queen Elizabeth II will meet and welcome him. I guess having two huge asteroids pass so close to the Earth kinda inspired some good-neighbour policy. I hope there'll be a whole lot of collared women of the Anglican and Episcopal church in attendance when His Holiness meets the Queen. You know, just to kinda nudge his consciousness in regard to the vital role of Women in the spiritual realm. I'd really be disappointed if all he saw were Religious in habits thus reinforcing that antediluvian belief of where a womans' place is.
I hope a higher power is showering all my Gentle Readers with openness and freedom of expression.
Ah, September! The promise of Autumn and all it's golden charms. My Gentle Readers may have noticed that I have been somewhat absent from the blogosphere of late. Fear not! I have not succumbed to illness or lethargy. It appears that I had forgotten a long-standing ritual that occurs annualy here in Maine and probably throughout most of the upper regions of the Northern Hemisphere. It's commonly called 'bundling season'. I was 18 when I left Maine for points south so I was never initiated into the practice. When I returned here last spring I was too preoccupied with chaos for several months that followed to take any notice of the tell-tale signs. I have had a pleasantly surprising introduction to the concept.
Bundling Season begins in mid-August and is primarily an exercise in compatibility. It's Maine's virtual version of eharmony. I have become a 'person of interest' to three candidates. I would like to say that I'm an object of desire but that wouldn't be accurate. Desire in most cases is devoid of practicality. Bundling is all about pragmatism. It isn't about passion; it's about snow shovelling and wood chopping. It's about companionship when you're snowed in and run the risk of cabin fever. It's about someone bringing you the chicken soup and Robitussin when you're down with the flu. It's endless games of Scrabble, chess, and gin rummy. Bundling is semi-hibernation with co-dependance. When the snow melts in April so does the bundling. You have survived the long, dark, cold days on the tundra and it's time to go out in search of berries and fresh air.
This is not to say that there isn't passion and desire involved. It just has a different priority status than it has in Summer. I am a triple threat and I am enjoying the attention. I am not dim-witted or hard on the eyes. I am a decent cook. AND, perhaps most importantly, I am fluent in both silence and conversation. This last is a major quality during Bundling Season. I know when to leave someone alone and when to engage them. I know how to pamper and how to leave-be.
I can't say how all this will turn out. I'm not particularly interested in a bundling partner. However, I'm not averse to the idea either. Could be fun or it could just be more of what I already have now. In the meantime I'm just enjoying the proverbial hunting expedition around the proverbial bush. The snowshoes are primed and waxed, the shovel is clean, and the axe is sharp. I'm good to go. The scented massage oil and Twister game are stowed where they can be easily retrieved. I'm prepared for any contingency. It's the Maine way.