Blogging has been light because I've had an unusually busy social calendar for the last week and a half, and I'm getting ready for my trip to Turkey. I leave one week from tomorrow!
Last night was one of those sultry summer evenings where it's still in the 80s at dusk. I remember those nights when I was a kid and it was too hot to sleep; my parents would let my sister and me get out of bed to swim. For several years, we lived in a modest house in a semi-urban neighborhood, and we had a pool in our backyard. Swimming at night meant getting to swim naked, the only lights shining from under the water. After 15 minutes in the pool, our bodies cooled, we would go back to bed and sleep all night.
Swimming naked, and swimming at night - floating on my back looking up at the moon and stars - are still just about my favorite things to do. I prefer lakes, ponds, and hot springs to artificial pools. (I’ve been skinny dipping after dark in the Baltic Sea; this is both cold and dangerous. Much more peaceful was floating on my back in the large hot spring at Orr, in California.)
(Indeed, hot springs are one of the few things my town lacks. That, and Ethiopian food. Okay, and a thriving independent bookstore. We’re not perfect.)
Last night it was hot, so Adonis, Lugh, and I set out for the gorge down the street, where the temperature is about 10 degrees cooler. We hiked in, not very far, and found a flat stretch where we could all walk around in the water. (It’s been dry this year, so the water is low; normally we wouldn’t be able to walk where we did.)
There was a lot of litter, which makes me so angry, but since dog walkers always have plastic grocery bags in their pockets, I was able to clean up the space we were in. In addition to the beer and juice bottles and cigarette wrappers, there was a pair of socks, some Styrofoam peanuts, a bag of empty take-out containers, and a dirty diaper. This isn’t the first time I’ve found a wrapped, dirty diaper in a gorge! People make such a misanthrope of me. I don’t understand how anyone can go to such a beautiful place and leave trash there. It breaks my Pagan heart.
I once knew of some Quakers who would carry a bag and pick up litter wherever they went. When someone would ask them why, they would say, “we’re Quakers; we pick up litter.” I think that’s a mantra that can express our most basic Pagan values. I say it to myself to counter my angry reaction: “we’re Pagans; we pick up litter.”