Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," where we admit to a healthy, ongoing, and ever-increasing detestation of Christmas! Changing the name to Holiday doesn't improve the fact that:
1. This is the darkest time of the year.
2. People spend money they don't have to buy things no one likes.
3. Celtic and Romanic traditions have been completely and jealously usurped, no retreat and no surrender.
So I'm going to find a quiet corner, close my eyes, and save myself.
I see a big old barn. I'm sitting behind it, watching my Nubians roam the pasture. At my feet is Laddie, the collie, his fur knotted in burrs. Uncle Ralph comes round to see what I'm doing and says, "Did you see the kittens in the horse stall?" So I go in, and six darling little kittens are nursing. The mother doesn't care if I pet them.
Aunt Bess is in her vegetable garden, admiring her huge cabbages and bragging about how much kraut she'll be able to put up. Cousin Ronnie is buzzing up and down the road on his dirt bike (aptly named). A buzzard floats by on the breeze.
In this reverie, all the people I loved have come back to life, and the ones I love now are not yet in my sphere. I can climb the mountain without getting short of breath. I help my grandfather fill jugs at the spring and watch him stare into his magnifying scope to fix broken watches.
My grandmother cuts fresh flowers from her garden and comes in with an apron full of tomatoes.
Eyes wide open.
Yesterday waded through a foot of snow to put Dollar Store poinsettias on their graves. I'm glad they didn't live to see online shopping, "organic" food that doesn't have insect holes or spots on it, watches that run on batteries and computers, a goat pasture grown over with locust trees, a neglected barn falling to bits.
The farm will be sold and subdivided. Rich baby boomers will buy plots and build homes. Brave commuters willing to spend 3 hours a day in their SUVs will follow.
Bored gods, get me through these dark days.
THE MERLIN OF BERKELEY SPRINGS