Taking my pessimism…
As I have aged, the holidays I have grown up with have left a sour taste in my mouth as I prepare for them each year. Stress, traffic, and what they really represent ring loud and clear: Christmas = Capitalism; New Years = let’s all celebrate with a hangover; Thanksgiving = the slaughter of the native people; Easter = spring regrowth as represented by a bunny’s poop turned into chocolate eggs?
That being said, I am going to step off the American crazy train of holiday traditions and am making a conscious choice to start my own. For it brings me more pleasure to celebrate a new pair of socks on my feet than the usual Christmas morning quiche and presents under a fake or dead tree.
And Reformatting it into optimism
Pablo Neruda was a master of this, writing an entire compilation of poetry celebrating the mundane items in life through a series of odes: like an ode to soap, an ode to a pencil, and an ode to socks. Me, being the person that I am, would far more be inclined to write an ode to pie. In my compilation of odes, pie would be at the top of my list along with several other items, like my bicycles, my dog, the wilderness, and books, but instead of just celebrating these mundane pleasures of life by writing an ode, I would like to bring about their magic by the means of a day of celebration.
As many of you know, Pi Day has become a “thing” to celebrate on March 14th, 3.14, but I gave it two days this year with backwards pie day 4.13. I celebrated this year by riding my bicycle from Santa Cruz, and through the Watsonville strawberry fields which smell heavenly–that resulted in a good 40 mile round trip trek out to my favorite local Ranch that grows apples, and makes the most delectable pies and apple juice. As a mid ride snack, an apple dumpling is one thing that you can’t go wrong with: one whole apple baked in pie crust, covered by caramel sauce. http://www.gizdich-ranch.com/
If we can’t celebrate what makes us happy, then we’re not really celebrating at all: we’re just going through the motions and leading a pretty mundane life instead of bringing the mundane to life and highlighting its positive impact on our own existence.
What will you choose to celebrate in your life?
My new holidays
Celebrate my friends = 3.6; The date is my actual birthday, but I would rather celebrate the friendships I have by cooking for all of them
Pi Day = 3.14; Bike for Pie
Backwards Pie Day = 4.13; Bike for Pie
Earth Day = 4.22; Spend the day outside
Bikes Bikes Bikes = 4 days in April; Sea Otter Classic; I’ve joked in the past that this is a religious holiday for me because I always manage to take a bit of time off work to participate in it
Independent Bookstore Day = Last Saturday in April; buy a book and spend the day with my nose in it
Star Wars = May the fourth; make silly pun jokes and wear my favorite T-shirt
Puppy Power Day = May 30th; an estimate of when my dog was born, but I will take her for a long walk or hike in the woods
And I’m sure I’ll think of more…