As most people know, I’m not traditionally religious. About as close I get to religion is that of elements in paganism and Native American traditions wherein the special and wonderful properties of the earth are celebrated; the solstices, the wondrous changes of each season, the tides, the moon, how we all thrive under this sun and could not live without it. As we inch (and I do mean INCH) closer to more consistently nicer weather (if not appreciably warmer, at least not consistently, not yet), I feel something in me start to relax each year. As it gets warmer and sunnier, I relax more and more. The warmer and sunnier it is, the more relaxed I am.
The fact of the matter is I never get completely warm here in Ohio. Even when I lived in LA, I didn’t get there. I remember distinctly the moment in my life when I felt absolutely, 100%, completely warmed to the very core of my being; to the point where I could sit outside for hours and not worry about not having a jacket or sweater. To where I felt like a limpid pool, settling into whatever I had alighted upon – a chair, a chaise lounge, a pool. I was in Scottsdale on the balcony of a hotel. I remember looking out at the jack rabbits and funny little birds hopping around and thinking, “Wow, I am finally WARM.” I looked at the thermometer. It was 116.
Needless to say, I don’t feel terribly warm and relaxed if that’s my pinnacle, living as I do in NE Ohio. But on the other hand, that kind of temp isn’t terribly conducive to doing much but lying around in front of a pool in a cabana, drinking umbrella drinks and snacking, so not very practical long-term.
But I always try to celebrate Earth Day in some fashion, however small. Turn off all the lights for an evening and just read. Water my continuously hovering-near-death plant and talk to it. Go to an Earth Day festival of some sort. This year’s festival moved to the Berea fairgrounds, where I have a special affinity, having slaved away there for hours upon hours, year after year when I ran a haunted house there many years ago. Imagine listening to the theme from Halloween on a tape loop ALL NIGHT LONG, EVERY NIGHT FOR 6 WEEKS and you’ll start to get an idea of what it’s like to work a gig like this. At any rate, I am at home at the fairgrounds, as I am at most fairgrounds being a child who grew up frequenting county fairs, a tradition which continues heartily to this day, and which I am imparting into my son. As we pulled up, he asked first where we were, and I told him, and he remarked about what animals might be in the barn he saw closest to the road. I tried to explain to him that it wasn’t a fair, just a use of the grounds, but I don’t think he believed me until we got in. It was very cold at first, but some warm food truck food (and some of the BEST brisket I have EVER had, along with some kick ass tacos, and of course, BEER) and I was feeling warmer and happier. A festival like this allows me to bring out my inner hippie, and I was unrecognizable as I saw a senior member of management at my job walk by me at some point in the day and not even recognize me as he passed by. I got several compliments on my hippie garb, we got to go to a drum circle and my kid got his face painted. And OMG FRESH MADE TINY DOUGHNUTS, so overall, WIN.
I went for a long walk last night even though it was still really cold, and another one today at lunch where the sun was actually behaving like sun is supposed to, and warming things up. I was, for the first time I can recall this year, overdressed, having worn my jacket on my lunchtime walk. This makes me happy, and I relax a little more.
Soon I will clean off the disgusting patio. But first, a trip to DC later this week. I told my kid I would take his picture in front of President Obama’s house, the guy who sent him the postcard when he was born, and I’m going to.