The third cup 9/28

Sunday, September 28, 2003

Hi neighbors. Have some coffee and try to balance an egg on its end. The weatherman on some TV station said it could be done any time of the year with enough care and a steady hand. There was a short series on public television this month about recognizing the sacred balance needed between humans and the natural earth. The show was very well done and I understand the man who starred in it has a book out on the same subject. We all need to get back to nature, was the main thrust of the show. But not just go walk in a park, we need to understand our place in nature. We must, the show said, realize that the natural world not only connects with us, but actually determines our well being. It was a new turn on the ecology approach and I enjoyed it immensely. I hope many of you got to see it as well. Many religions, philosophies and sciences teach us that we should learn to appreciate the moment. We should find a way to connect with the world around us and recognize our place in it. That is a good idea, and I agree with it. But I don't see how we can find ourselves when our world is so deceiving. For instance, I thought it was autumn. I looked forward to the last few weeks of green grass and flowers and some late blooming shrubs. I had become attuned to the harvest bearing earth. I had felt the chill in the air and looked to the sky. But I didn't see or hear geese flying south so the old wise woman within me knew there was still time to make apple butter before the frost ripened the persimmons. There should still be time to gather and glean from the harvested fields. Pumpkins weren't yet ripe enough to even make jack-o-lanterns! So how could I have been prepared for my trip to the store? It was only the first part of September. I expected some sales on winterizing things for home and car. I expected some mulch for flower beds, maybe some price cuts on lawn hoses and sprinklers. I cringed thinking I might see some Halloween costumes already out. I wasn't expecting Christmas! Looking for gardening tools at sale prices, I bumped into a six foot mechanical Santa! Bird houses were replaced with strings of light bulbs -- both indoor and outdoor. I thought I heard Christmas carols from the overhead speakers. Those cute little rubber garden angels and animals were replaced with reindeer and elves. How could it be time for Christmas? My inner clock became confused. My biorhythms were more in flux than the ocean tides during hurricane Isabel. I didn't know whether to cut a cake or bake a pumpkin! I staggered back away from Santa, overwhelmed and disorientated. Finally, I found an aisle with colors more fitting to the season. Orange pumpkins and scarecrows! Black capes and werewolf masks! Yes! I hadn't slipped into some type of time warp. Following the smell of bagged semi-sweet, dark and milk chocolate, I wandered contentedly through spaceman and ballerina costumes. I passed the fake blood and wax fangs collections, smiled at the glow lights and face paint. I found some peace in displays that were still early, but at least seasonal. OK, so it is still a long time till Halloween, but at least it feels like Halloween weather. I would hate to see Halloween go the way Thanksgiving has gone, unlamented, ignored. If not for some savvy marketing team that "autumnized" and blended the Halloween, harvest and Thanksgiving themes to extend the selling frenzy; people would forget Thanksgiving altogether. But it helps knowing natural autumn accepts both Halloween and Thanksgiving. Although the earth here in Missouri hasn't put on its bright red and orange colors yet, I can feel it thinking about it. I for one, don't want to remind Mother Nature of winter just yet. As I sniff the pumpkin pie scented candles and realign my inner centers, I can feel the harmony again. Like an egg on the equinox, I am balanced and one with the world. Until the next time friends, remember; we have to allow each moment (and each holiday) to complete its own cycle, for all to appreciate its full enjoyment. Having every holiday simultaneously just messes up every one's and every thing's balance.