“Of Cabbages and Kings” 

My title comes from the Lewis Carroll poem. Carroll links the weighty topic of “kings” with the mundane “cabbages.“  In the last several weeks I have caught myself doing the same thing.

Kings

A little while ago Chris and I visited my parents who live in a sleepy Yorkshire village not far from England’s northern coast. They are enjoying their ninth and tenth decades of life and so have naturally slowed down somewhat – but their passions have not!!!

There were new developments in the Brexit saga while we were with them, parliament trying to block the possibility of a “no-deal” Brexit.  As staunch “leavers” my parents were apoplectic.

“We voted to leave, we’ll be dead before this country leaves – if it ever does!”   they were heard to say!”

Britain joined the European Community more than forty years ago and has often flexed its muscles as an island nation defending its independence in the face of European bureaucracy.  As an example, Britons still eschew the euro in favor of their pounds and pence. In the sweep of history, forty years is far less than the flick of an eyelash, but in this time, and in spite of its muscle flexions, Britain has become deeply enmeshed in the European Community – the intertwining with diverse countries is as if British capillaries circulate  blood through Portuguese and Slovenian veins, or that air from Belgian and Cypriot alveoli feed British lungs.

I recall that many years ago I attended a wedding where the groom had been previously married and his first marriage had ended in divorce.  At the time the Church of England could not offer a wedding ceremony to a divorced person, so the couple had a civil ceremony followed by a church blessing.  Years, decades before the travails of my own divorce, I heard the pastor say that our groom had endeavored to honor his marriage vows and that divorce was a “wrenching apart”. We should acknowledge the pain and the growth that comes from it.

My parents will most likely sign off my blog when they hear me say that so it is with Brexit.  “A wrenching apart.”   We cannot say as in a marriage that “the two had become one”, but one country, as we have seen, has participated closely in many countries.  In my opinion, given that mingling and now the wrenching, it is not surprising that finding a “Brexit route” has taken so long – and I expect that should the rupture take place, healing of international relationships will also need time and patience.

On a day of international activism, Chris and I joined a straggle of demonstrators, advocating for action in regard to the climate crisis.  We felt a little foolish and wondered if waving banners at gas guzzling motorists was in any way relevant. Adding to the bizarre nature of the spectacle, a teary giraffe strolled among our motley crew  to highlight the threat of species extinction as a consequence of our warming planet.

Across the highway, we noticed a gas station whose logo is a dinosaur.  The irony was not lost – fossil fuels being promoted by a fossil.  I know there are many views regarding the climate crisis – from those who deny it is the result of human activity, to those who think that the problem is too overwhelming to be addressed.  Whatever our position let’s opt for a healthier planet and a healthier life and press for comprehensive change.

Cabbages

As a VIP (visually impaired person), it’s not the best idea to shave my legs – picture trails of blood streaking down! So, from time to time I have them waxed.  Here in my part of Colorado I was surprised to learn that waxing salons seem to have melted away. However, our town offers a tiny “sugaring” studio. New to town and with porcupine legs and a wedding to attend, I made an appointment with my local esthetician.  He was gentle, vivacious, outgoing and explained that he would use a “honey paste” to part hair from follicle. He did a wonderful job, no matter that sometimes he wears a dress – he is one of the kindest people I have met.

Chris was in close proximity with three attractive young women.  Barefoot, they were all moving rhythmically up and down.  Afterwards, when the activity came to a squirty and squishy conclusion, was I shocked!? – Not at all!

The grapes were crushed, the feet claret stained, and we all had pips and stalks between the toes!   Our favorite local winery was hosting its annual grape harvest “Stomp”.  In days of yore, peasant corns and bunions were pressed for this purpose, today we volunteered and in a couple of hours of close proximity, hard labor and high spirits, we crossed the generational divide with laughter and fun.

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