Saturday, May 12, 2007

pre-emptive justification

Tomorrow morning, I'm going to spend $5 on a scone.
It means I'll talk with the nutty woman who denounces, from under her green, plastic-fringe palm, the evils of grains. All grain except that which her baked goods are made from.
It's not kamut or amaranth but some other near-forgotten grain with a lineage unbroken since the birth of the fertile crescent.
She'll offer me the energy bar, a fermented apricot square made from the recipe that sustained the Swedes through the coldest of winters.
"Washington," she'll say, and my attention will abandon the peppers roasting in the stall behind me; I'll focus on her eyes, wondering what kind of sunscreen she wears.

Pointing past the fountain, towards fields in the Cascade foothills, she'll chatter.
Fond words of the wold's only raw, vegan bakery where they roast the mystery grain.
And if I ask about the $7 biscotti, she'll tell of sorting gems and invite me to a drum circle. She got distracted, forgot the biscotti. She'll go get me one, she's happy to. It will take a half-hour, which would suggest the bakery is in Arizona, not Washington, but I can't be sure. She'll leave her stand at the market, if I want a hazelnut biscotti.

But I don't. Just a maple scone made of a grain I can't remember.

I have a soft spot for cut zinnias and potted herbs.
A scenario that finds me sitting sideways in the corner of the couch, accompanied by dark chocolate, a glass of wine and a good book tops my relaxation list.
I rarely pooh-pooh kind words on my parenting (witnessed by my extraordinary children) sealed in a card.
Fluffy or heart-felt, I won't shy away from acknowledgment of my role as a mother. Tomorrow, or any other day. From the bandwagon, I'll channel thanks and admiration to the mothers I know, recognition of their strength and beauty.

In the morning, I'll walk the market, eating half my scone, noticing the mothers. They'll help their children choose lettuce and pull the stroller a few inches back from the tomato table. One mother will carry a baguette for brunch with her son while another reminds her daughter to hold the eggs with two hands. I'll marvel at the heat of 10am, regret the lack of local fruit available and wink. Or think of winking. A code of solidarity with mothers.

Home with my half scone, I'll curl up with a cup of tea and the news. I'll read of Darfur after signing an e-petition against mandatory pasteurization of almonds. Honor killings, profiteering in public education. And war. Our war that has yet to solicit my health or assets, asking instead for my complacency.

Tomorrow morning, belly full, I'll think of Julia "Disarm, disarm. The sword of murder is not the balance of justice..." Ward Howe. Her faith in me. In all us mothers. I'll spend a moment on the absurdity of misunderstandings. The difference of confusion on the origins of a scone and falsified documents offered as justification for war.


Anonymous said...

Nora, go to there is a good artilce on children and truency in the public school system: Should Kids Serve Time for Skipping School? Tom

owlhouse said...

I finally got to the article, Tom. Thanks. I think. I'm no fan of compulsory education, so adding the legal element is especially disconcerting.

It seems to me we can aim for ineffective "easy" answers or build the new paradigm.
Roll up your sleeves, there's work to be done...