Too Early Christmas. A week ago, November 13, I first heard Christmas music in a grocery store. The next day I noticed that the town had put up decorations and had turned on the Christmas lights. Last weekend the town had a holidays celebration. Shops were open late, and there were horse-drawn carriage rides and a snow slide. We are too early this year!
Let us enjoy quiet Indian summer days of short sleeved weather. Let us notice the smell of fallen leaves, admire yards of unraked leaves and piles–large and small–of raked leaves. Let us marvel in leaf fall showers, frosty mornings, misty mornings, early sunset, still blazing colors of maples and sweet gum trees, brown, tenacious leaves of oaks. Let’s listen to the quiet sounds of small insects, calls of crows, and the dry sound of the scuttle of fallen leaves. Let us enjoy the anticipation of Thanksgiving Day, but not yet Christmas. In its time, yes. Not now.
Fiction. John Steinbeck, The Pearl (1945). Steinbeck write a story he heard in Mexico as a short novel. It was once anthologized in high school texts, and although I was not teaching that grade level, I first read the novel and the accompanying teaching materials. I did not re-read it until this week. It is both entertaining and philosophic, a book to be read thoughtfully. There are excellent descriptions of setting and characters. The narration is, especially in the final flight scene, which recalls the short story “Flight,” well-controlled. The moral is direct and powerful.
The moral, which directly associates wealth with evil, may be the reason the novel was not long in high school anthologies. We might be accused of promoting Christianity.
My edition, The Library of America, has interesting line drawings by Jose Clemente Orozco.
As I read my way through Steinbeck, I now begin re-reading his last long novel, East of Eden.
What To Do with Sunday. How does one honor the Sabbath? How does one make a day of rest? Here is a routine I have of late developed. In the morning, meditation and Mass. In the early afternoon, massage and Reiki. Later in the afternoon, a concert or a movie or a walk in a park or in the country or a visit with friends or a drive in the country or listening to music from my library. Dinner with friends at home or alone at a good restaurant. In the evening, contemplative reading or meditation or playing music or writing.
Thank you for reading. I hope your week will be good.