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Summer at oikos mou

June 20, 2009

My husband is outside, butchering our chickens. They have outlived their usefulness as layers, and this is the next phase of their God-decreed calling. I will miss watching them flapping their wings and running about and jumping up to catch bugs in midair. I was so protective of them as chicks. I think I’m such a back-to-the-land person, and certainly I believe in stewardship and alignment with the economy of human-animal relationships ordained at creation. It’s just that I hate death.

My enjoyment of The Heart of Midlothian is unexpected. I’m one who normally does not enjoy novels, but I heard that Walter Scott was a Calvinist and so determined to read one of his. A couple of the librarians at my local library have degrees in literature, and I was soliciting their suggestions as to which of his novels to read. I decided on The Heart of Midlothian because both librarians considered it challenging. I’m finding it very engaging. Perhaps it would be difficult if someone lacked knowledge of the Bible, from which Scott draws copious allusions. Thoughtful editorial footnotes decode the Latin epigrams, and a glossary interprets most of the Gaelic. It’s rather wonderful to venture into the 18th century and observe common and privileged people alike recognizing the imperative of principled justice notwithstanding the limitations of human depravity.

We’re having a beautiful summer, and I am bummed that I cannot play croquet. Repetitive strain injuries are so ridiculous. I have days when I’m sure full resolution is imminent, and days when it’s hard to pull on pants. I can’t hold up a book or even a lightweight magazine. I have a versatile freestanding book stand that takes care of that, but of course I can’t take it with me anywhere I might like to read while I wait. I flunked Limits in pre-kindergarten, and I’m having to repeat the course now.

I hope for an Indian summer and healing. In the meantime, another road trip to river country sometime this summer might herald the former, and promote the latter.


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