Alleged Devil Worshipper Takes Sick Day

judgment by others,

Lulled into front porch happiness. (Image: vonholdt.deviantart.com)

You never know what people are really thinking.

I was sitting on the front porch peacefully shelling corn into a huge speckled canning pot when it came to my attention that someone thought I was a devil worshipper.

Let me back up. I woke feeling horrible. Headache, clogged ears, lots of coughing.  It was probably due to spending the day before helping a friend unpack at her new house. We had a lovely time talking as we worked. As always, I was impressed by the way she manages to combine deep intelligence with common sense. Unfortunately, workers were there too, sanding and varnishing.. The dust and fumes didn’t bother her but I could barely breathe. With all my sneezing and coughing she probably thought that I was a giant walking germ.

That’s what led to spending most of today, by necessity, away from the swivel chair and computer where I make my paltry living as a freelance writer and editor. My eyes just couldn’t focus on the screen. Instead I tended to quiet tasks that didn’t burden my swimming head. I cut tomatoes for the dehydrator. I washed the dirt off our harvest of new potatoes. I picked and shelled some of our pink beans. Unlike hours spent in front of the computer, where time seems to flash by, the day moved in a lovely slow motion.

Pink beans. Wish they kept their lovely hue when cooked.

By afternoon I’d moved to the porch. I brought out bones we get free from the local butcher, so the dogs sat happily gnawing. The sky was blue. It was quiet and meditative. I sat with a large bucket filled with the parching corn we’d grown. The kernel colors range from pale orange to deep purple. Some are swirled with red and white. They pull from the dry cob with a satisfying klunk into the pot.

Brightly hued parching corn.

I sat there thinking how meditative it was to have my hands engaged and my mind free. We rarely notice the pleasure found in simple work. Until a few generations ago humanity had no electronic distractions. No music playing in the background, no TV or radio, no smartphones or computers. We had a lot more time for contemplation. I’m as guilty as everyone else of cluttering up my head with all these distractions but I found myself enjoying my unexpected sick day.

The mail carrier arrived. Our mail box is on the other side of the street. If he’s got a package for us he pulls in the driveway and honks. I run out in my sock feet, no matter the weather, and we exchange a few pleasantries while he hands over our postal loot. He’s always cheerful. Today he didn’t really look at me. Instead he asked, “What does that moon mean?”

“Oh, that’s been there a few years, did you just notice it?”

“What’s it there for?”

“It’s a mosaic,” I said, feeling strangely silly. There was a long pause.

I could have, I suppose, explained. When my mother died she left behind many beautiful things. Some of her plates and cups were chipped but I couldn’t bear to throw them away. So my husband and son cut a huge half moon for me out of scrap metal and I adhered them to the surface, along with blue glass (her favorite color). I’m not sure why I asked them to cut a moon shape but I remember thinking how my mother and father used to dance after supper when a song they liked came on the radio. She’d take off her apron and they’d swoop back and forth on the linoleum to tunes like Moon River. It has stood in our front flower bed, seven feet tall, ever since.

What we see depends are who we are.

“My daughter says the moon is a sign of devil worshippers,” he informed me. Then he zipped out of the driveway.

I sat back down with my unshelled corn and my headache, deciding I might as well laugh about the joys of rural living. You never do know what people are thinking.

By the way, it turned out to be an excellent day despite the whole sick thing. That evening a burst of rain brought us something we’ve never seen. A rainbow with the beginning and end visible, starting in our yard and ending in our neighbor’s yard. I’m so lucky my daughter ran out to photograph it. At least she was thinking of light, beauty, and things that sparkle only briefly.

Look closely, there’s a rainbow.

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About Laura Grace Weldon

Laura Grace Weldon is a writer and editor, perhaps due to an English professor's scathing denunciation of her writing as "curious verbiage." She's the author of "Free Range Learning," a handbook of natural learning and "Tending," a poetry collection. (lauragraceweldon.com) She's working on her next book, "Subversive Cooking" (subversivecooking.com). She lives on Bit of Earth Farm where she is a barely useful farm wench. Although she has deadlines to meet she often wanders from the computer to preach hope, snort with laughter, cook subversively, talk to chickens and cows, discuss life’s deeper meaning with her surprisingly tolerant offspring, sing to bees, hide in books, walk dogs, concoct tinctures, watch foreign films, and make messy art.
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21 Responses to Alleged Devil Worshipper Takes Sick Day

  1. Fatcat says:

    You just never know, do you?

  2. Jann says:

    What a delightful post! I have a suddn urge to shell corn. And even though what others think of us is none of our business, I think you are just grand, moon in your front yard notwithstanding.

  3. John says:

    Ha I live in the country too. I woke up one morning to a sick child, got dressed and ran to the store to find everybody staring at my shirt. I grabbed a Halloween shirt that said ” I love witches” . Now I wear it all the time just to offend them. you should hear them chatter when I walk in the local restaurant. It always amazes me what people still think. It’s like going back to the dark ages for a vacation. Its amazes me that even the Juggalos stare at me like I’m evil.

    • I learned that decorating for Halloween was absolutely NOT DONE when we moved here in the autumn. I was told by several people that it was “Satan’s holiday” and that decorations show we are “the devil’s minions.” I was sad to see my chocolate potential drop because no one trick or treats.

      But a far worse offense I committed when first moving in was putting up a sign supporting the library levy. How is that a crime? I was told the library too was pleasing to Satan. Because I’m ignorant, I let my jaw drop and asked how that was possible. I was told that it made available to children……the dread Internet.

  4. Mandy says:

    I *shudder* at the attitudes of others, but I love that you had a lovely day, regardless. I, for one, think a mosaic moon based off of one of your fond memories of your mother is a fitting reminder of her love.

  5. Lilypad says:

    I think that moon is gorgeous!! Maybe I should stop dreaming about moving back to the country…Are you going to clear things up for your postal carrier or just let him be scared? ;-)

  6. It’s always about them – the things people say. Madness. Hope you’re feeling better.

  7. OK re-reading that, I guess I just said I was mad! LOL

  8. Lorie Januska says:

    Hi Laura,
    I love your moon out front and Ed slows down when we go by your house so I can see it. It takes all kind of people and I guess we have to let it go sometimes. The trouble is some of those people can be scary. Fear of the Moon…can you imagine. And the library??

  9. Margaret says:

    Hallo Dearie! You know how we feel about your moon – it is a fantastic work of art. Why worry about what your poor postal guy thinks? Life is full of every type, and in fact is better for it. It makes for wonderful contrasts; how boring it would be if we were all alike. Still, you have to feel sorry for the guy, running around scared like that.

    If you ever decide you just can’t have such a blatantly scarey item in your front yard, please feel free to move it to mine. . .so gorgeous! xoxo

  10. brenda shaw says:

    we all have our own oppinions, it is how we raise our family that matter the most in what we teach them how much we love them, and if some folks believe differently who are we to judge them, it is a shame however, with all the crime out there and murders and evil that they have to pick on the one holiday that makes more money in its season then our time of happy holiday CHRISTmas season. it is a shame.
    the internet has its own problems if the parents do not control its activity anyway, we have to have some kinda control of our young youth if it is to work itself out.
    we all need to work together.
    helping oneanother reach this goal would be such a blessing to the lost and many suffering in this world we all live in.
    when we think of the beginning and where we are all now , it is going to be the families that love and teach love in all areas of there life that are going to come out in the end stonger and happier.

    in his name Jesus Christ.
    from the earlydawn family farm over here in ky

  11. Dee says:

    I guess that all the people spending time in their outhouses of yesteryear
    were communing with the devil ! To think that all these years I just thought
    they were answering nature’s call…LOL

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