The Calendar Persists

Another beautiful day in the neighborhood. Sun shining, bees buzzing, butterflies looking for love. “What Bear?”

“You said something about snow.”

“I’m not in charge, little one. Anyway if it snows it won’t be until Sunday.” I don’t know how to tell her they’ve reduced the “odds” in the meteorological crapshoot that is weather forecasting. I guess I’ll just kind of let the thing drop and see what happens.

“But it will snow?”

“I think it might, but I’m not sure.”

“I don’t understand anything you just said.” She walks off.

And that, right there, explains why some people run for office and win. They come out with definitive promises that things will happen. I won’t do that to Bear unless I really do KNOW something. She is capable of disappointment. She realizes that what’s happening is not what she wants, hangs her head and goes to lie down in one of her cool spots. Cool in matters of temperature and because she’s there. 😉

The picture on my Grandma’s wall

I don’t have much to say (“Whoa, no, you don’t mean it!!!”) but I shall persist, undaunted like the brave soldier that I am (what???).

I learned this morning that today is “Good Friday.” Then I realized that yesterday was my ONE Holy Day in the Christian calendar. I don’t know if it’s my holy day because of the cheap paper print of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane my grandma had on her living room wall or the sudden perception (satori?) I had long ago that maybe Jesus didn’t want to fulfill the prophecy. Maybe he really liked his life here on Earth and would have preferred to stay in the beautiful garden. In my mind/interpretation he was scared, sad and very aware of the beauty of the Earth, because, dammit, we like it here.

My Easter service for years was a hike on Maundy Thursday, intentionally, with the idea of paying attention. But yesterday I just took Bear for a walk and didn’t think for a moment about the Christian calendar. Calendars are arbitrary anyway.

West Frisco Creek Trail

I have met with but one or two persons in the course of my life who understood the art of Walking, that is, of taking walks—who had a genius, so to speak, for sauntering, which word is beautifully derived “from idle people who roved about the country, in the Middle Ages, and asked charity, under pretense of going à la Sainte Terre,” to the Holy Land, till the children exclaimed, “There goes a Sainte-Terrer,” a Saunterer, a Holy-Lander. They who never go to the Holy Land in their walks, as they pretend, are indeed mere idlers and vagabonds; but they who do go there are saunterers in the good sense, such as I mean. Some, however, would derive the word from sans terre without land or a home, which, therefore, in the good sense, will mean, having no particular home, but equally at home everywhere. For this is the secret of successful sauntering. He who sits still in a house all the time may be the greatest vagrant of all; but the saunterer, in the good sense, is no more vagrant than the meandering river, which is all the while sedulously seeking the shortest course to the sea. But I prefer the first, which, indeed, is the most probable derivation. For every walk is a sort of crusade, preached by some Peter the Hermit in us, to go forth and reconquer this Holy Land from the hands of the Infidels. Henry David Thoreau, “Walking.”

15 thoughts on “The Calendar Persists

  1. A John Muir quote, about hiking vs sauntering: “I don’t like either the word or the thing. People ought to saunter in the mountains – not hike! Do you know the origin of that word ‘saunter?’ It’s a beautiful word. Away back in the Middle Ages people used to go on pilgrimages to the Holy Land, and when people in the villages through which they passed asked where they were going, they would reply, ‘A la sainte terre,’ ‘To the Holy Land.’ And so they became known as sainte-terre-ers or saunterers. Now these mountains are our Holy Land, and we ought to saunter through them reverently, not ‘hike’ through them.”
    Couldn’t agree more.
    I bet Bear agrees, too. And you.
    Any day that includes some sauntering is a good day.

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