Rory, Octo

Playtime is Now!

The thought escapes me...and shows up here

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Ah, Spring!
At Dinner
No, no flowers in Minneapolis yet, although the sunny days are encouraging!

Something my friend John said in Facebook made me think of my springtime play rituals as a child growing up in Sacramento.

The yard at my mom's house had an abundance of flowers and fruit; there was a loquat tree (they're nothing whatever like kumquats; they look a little bit like small pears, with a golden yellow skin, oval shape, and super-juicy fruit with very large smooth seeds;  Wikipedia has pictures of this very Asian fruit...

There were many, many big fleshy pink camellias (not my favorite), and droopy trumpet-shaped red/orange flowers that attract hummingbirds; I didn't play with those much.

I did, however play with (or eat!), petite peach-&-white colored honeysuckles (I was convinced, as a child, that they were different flavors), Azalea in fuschia and white, ivory gardenias (Mom's favorite), a bright magenta crape myrtle tree in the front yard, some sunshiny little yellow flowers, calla lilies, strawberries, and a huge bush that I called a snowball bush because of its boughs covered in fluffy white bunches of small flowers.

I spent a lot of time by myself outside, creating tiny animal communities, occasional gardening, or just reading in the crape myrtle tree.  My favorite thing for a while was to pick a long flowering branch of the "snowball bush", tie the ends together to make a wreath to wear on my head after picking all the other flowers I liked and weaving them in.  I would wear it for awhile, pretending to be either the Queen of the Forest or a fairy of some other kind (yes, I was one of *those* children. It was, after all, the early 80s), then I would "offer" it to the local deity.

Sadly, it broke and is long gone, but the back yard, when we moved into the house in the 70s, featured a little house-shaped shrine on a carved wooden pole, with a primitive clay figure in it.  In my ignorance, I assumed it was the Virgin Mary, the only woman I knew of in Christian tradition, because she wore a long robe with a hood, bangs and a peaceful expression, and held a dove in one hand.  Naturally, as most of you have probably figured out, it turned out to be St. Francis, his tonsure hidden by the hood, and the figure too rude to clearly denote gender.  Ah, well.  I didn't figure that out until much, much later!

So yes, little pagan springtime rituals dedicated to St. Francis as a nature goddess.

Happy Spring, everybody!


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