"These are magic seeds that will make a plant in the moonlight." Amelia was dead certain this would happen, plinking her seed beads into a cup of water. When she came downstairs for breakfast, she had saucer-eyes and squeaked with delight when she saw the bunch of bamboo shoots that had "magically" grown in the moonlight from her beads.
Mormon culture draws heavily on its pioneer heritage, especially if you live where they settled, but universally as well. Even living on the sandy beaches of Hawaii, my Sunday school teacher ONLY gave guilt-laden, heavy-handed lessons on the sacrifice of pioneers, and it soured me to it forever. As an adult, I recognize how prone I am to guilt, and look back at teachers like that with more than a little repugnance for that kind of emotional manipulation.
I really can't tell you how many times I've heard "Well, in pioneer times she would have died," referring to Eloise. I actually responded the last time with, "Well if you look at it, the chances of dying crossing the plains or dying of tuberculosis, or scarlet fever, or dysentery living in a city, were pretty much the same in the 1860s. While we are at it, I wouldn't be here, would've died with my twins. My mom wouldn't be here. So it's not really a point worth making, is it?" It was a neonatologist. He said, "I hope this NICU experience hasn't made you bitter." You bet it has, buddy.
I guess this is why I was so thrilled to open the package from Compiegne, France containing the 19th century triptych with devotional paintings of St. Jeanne d'Arc, and why I am wearing a reliquary with dust from a saint's bones today. Because I don't need pragmatism. I need transfiguration, poetry, beauty, magic. I don't need pioneers, I need saints. A little mysticism. Maybe a little rain dance. I need magic seeds that bloom in the moonlight.
I am making a stop at Cactus & Tropicals on my way home to search for two more moonbeam-blooming magical plants, because you know, Jo and Hazel can't be left out, and we need all the magic we can get in our house. Besides, do I really need an excuse to visit a humid, tropical, delicious greenhouse on a day like today?