Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The Butter Has Moved

I remember CBC inviting listeners to call in suggesting what they noticed at a significant sign that spring had come. Now, I'm not a "caller-in-er" to radio programs, so I didn't call, but I knew immediately what I would have said if I had called in. In our office, we have a small kitchenette with meager supplies to cobble up a simple lunch. In winter, when the cold comes through the window the window sill is a perfect place to store our butter--it's not quite as cold as the fridge, so it makes spreading it on toast easier. In spring, the window sill warms up, and then someone decides that it is time to move the butter back into the fridge. When the butter moves, then I know winter is over.

Well...the butter moved back to the window sill a few weeks ago...and then one day, someone opened the container and the butter was bad. The decision was made that the butter would be permanently in the fridge, year round.

I can handle this. I can. But I don't want to have to. It's part of the rhythm of the seasons that the butter moves from window sill to fridge and back again, following the seasons. And now that is missing.

I thought of this as I was reading some vignettes around the Christmas theme. Most of the writers referred back to Christmas memories...some of which were reliable "we do this every year"--even if they didn't even like the content of the tradition (who likes pizza buns made with Spam anyway?), it meant something. It was reliable, comfortable, consistent, and reminds all that we are connected with our past. Now...people continue those patterns and traditions as adults. We like to come around to the same feelings, and these external traditions are cues to internal feelings that connect us with being loved and with people we love.

Pizza buns, anyone??

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