Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Lemon wisdom

When I was a small child an auntie gave me a wee rocking chair all my own. I was told it was an antique and to be very careful with it. That bit of advice took hold and I treated it as if it were a sacred object, but not too sacred to sit in and rock, rock, rock.
The little mahogany chair became my perch. I would sit there, rock and absorb as much adult conversation as I could. Most fascinating were adult ways. I became an observer and later discovered that my totem is an owl. The dangers of being an owl are that you can be accused of rude staring and/or you can become so nocturnal that you never leave your branch.
Owls are traditionally associated with wisdom. In my little chair with my owlish ways I developed the gift of wisdom. For example, I noticed quite early that my mother wasn't all joy and happiness as she advertised; nor was my father all silent and martini-sipping as he advertised. They were much more than their ads. Mommy could be quite sad in her eyes and angry with a smile, and Daddy could be quite talkative and playfully humorous, not always sarcastic.
In my chair I learned that people were mixed and good in their mixedness. That I imagine was the source of the lemon wisdom I wrote about in my book years later. I learned that people want to make lemonade, want to pretend they are sweet and nice as life "should" be, but the truth is they can also be sour and nasty.
The funny thing about it all was that I decided I liked people just as they were and that Godde didn't want to destroy the truth of lemonhood by making something as fake as lemonade out of a good zestful lemon. The Godde I met didn't scold me either when I was in a mood or filled with childish pique at some offense. It was all me and it was all. That's lemon wisdom. I think it has something to do with integrity.
Sundays in our parish we sing a gospel troparian (a musical response to a biblical reading from one of the gospels, stories of Jesus' life and teachings.) The wise words, by Renée Miller, seem to me to be a definition of the Godde within. "Walk the way of ancient wisdom etched and patterned, deep within. Walk the way of holy freedom, find your soul made whole again."