Rock, Rocks in His New Hat!

Spring doesn’t jump out at you in Sweden; sudden changes and abhorent weather shifts keep even the most stoic of us guessing. Rock doesn’t guess, speculate or ponder such uncontrolable forces as Mother Nature. He only has his eye on Lm. She is deep in her mind, remembering Easter egg hunts as a child in the United States with her cousins. She has one foot in the “Bible Belt” and another running with all her might north then to the edge of the Atlantic, fleeing to Sweden where everything yet nothing makes sense. In the southern states Easter meant a knew frock, white patten shoes and rejoicing after church in the sunshine with her cousins and family. Croquet and hunting colored eggs, jelly beans and fake green grass in her basket to stuff her findings in were just some of her fond recollections. Avoiding the ham with pineapple was her biggest challenge since she always won at croquet. Deviled eggs and chocolate pie can fill a belly and that’s what she loved. It was one of the only times of the year that everything went smooth. No fighting, no disasters and no face smacking for being a smarty pants, that is until she got a “D” in Algebra in eighth grade. Fearing her mother’s wrath she and a friend decided there was no way out and the holy week leading up to Easter they decided to run away. Hitch-hiking fifteen year olds in Nashville is not the safest choice. Two men in a pick-up stopped and let them sit in the middle. Rock slaps himself silly with astonishment as he has no clue how in the hell Lm and her friend, both with full make-up and cute little jeans and perms survived. An APB was put out notifying the state police. It just so happened Lm was not as stoic as she was behaving and asked to use the bathroom. The men in the pick-up obliged and pulled over at a gas station. When Lm got out a cop car pulled up and she was spotted pronto. The men were not charged, (huge question, eh?) and Lm and her friend were driven back to the suburbs where their parents met them at the one room police station. From that point they were forbidden from meeting outside of school which didn’t change their inner chaos and drama. That particular Easter Lm’s mother and step-father took her to an Easter buffet in a restaraunt. They slid their trays down metal railngs and picked out what they wanted from the massive amount of food in heated deep food bins. Lm only remembers the silence, the lack of extended family and her muteness which encompassed her early teenage years. She was not feeling particularly renewed, springy or at all joyful. Her mother looked sad in the way mother’s do when their kids totally screw up and they are in shock due to not having an inkling as to what to do next. Lm is sad because she, even now can’t replace that memory with a better one. Rock reminds her that curried eggs are her favorite and she shoves him and his new purple hat away. She wakes everyday wanting to try again to be better in every way; isn’t that what Easter is about? We get a fresh start if we are lucky; some of us sink into the past. Rock knows his job is to keep Lm in the now. Snow is falling in Sweden and there will not be an egg hunt outside or croquet, but maybe, just maybe she will shake off her dark past and embrace what she has now. Maybe. Rock wishes everyone a shot at reviving their inner beings. Peace and Happy Spring!

Seventh Winter; Waffles and Jesus

What is your favorite type of weather?

Writing Prompt for WordPress March 26th

In Sweden there remains an old adage, likely it’s relevance stems from the agrarian roots implanted by the pagan community which ruled until Martin Luther decided to hang his hat here and get messy with religion. It is now March twenty-sixth, spring sprung backwards but our clocks leapt forward an hour. I rose the shade from my bed to see if it just might be a surprise of a sunny day only to see snow falling, the gardening spot blanketed white again. Yesterday was gray and rainy, the highlight of my weekend despite the weather was it being “Våffeldagen”. In keeping with the conflicting Christian and Pagen society that dominates this wildly confusing Viking Jesus mystery lies yet another story that complicates waffle day even more so. The origins in English are the annunciation of our blessed virgin Mary; in Swedish it’s “Jungfru Marie bebådelsedag” which is basically the celebration of the angel Gabriel flying down from the heavens to tell the virtuous and virgin Mary that she had a bun in the oven, a very special bun that would change the world. “Vårfru” means virgin Mary, however in some dialects in Sweden during the 1800’s, someone confused the historical “vaffla” (meaning waffle) with Vårfru (meaning virgin wife literally) and thus began a Swedish custom to eat waffles on this very delicate Christian holy day. Now, I was raised primarily in the “Bible Belt” and forced to church school and bible studies throughout my youth. I know Eve was some naked woman made from a rib and gave her man an apple and a serpent was involved. I know old southern spirituals, the ten commandments and some miniscule remnants of biblical “facts” are embalmed in this sixty year old brain. I know that we pretend to eat flesh and drink blood and what I received was grape juice and a paper thin cracker which felt like chewy notebook paper. Yet nowhere in my first sixteen years of obligatory studies was there any mention of Gabriels significant secret, waffles or more likely in my region a trip to The Cracker Barrel for a full plate of biscuits and gravy. Swedes get more vacation days for obscure Christian holy moments, literally days that evangelical bible belters know nothing about, and if they do know we get waffles, jam, whipped cream and berries for messenger Gabriel’s news I believe they just might start a campaign to close down Walmart and at least expect “Eggos”. Now, not only do we have this manic weather to live with, we also still celebrate the pagan holidays and no Christian complains as long as they don’t have to work. Personally, for my twentieth “7th Winter” and my twentieth “Waffle Day” I think a bloody Mary is more appropriate.