It has been an exhausting week. Last night I couldn't do much more after work than sit and stare at the TV.
Luckily, there was something to watch: It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown. The wonderful colors of this show made me want to sketch with my own colored markers, but I was too tired to do even that.
Charlie Brown's treatment made me sad. Why does he get rock after rock? Why did Lucy have to tell him that he was on the do-not-invite list for the Halloween party?
This week has reminded me that life is not fair. Some days, you get a bag full of candy. Other days, you get rock after rock. I tried to focus on the fact that Charlie Brown does get to go trick-or-treating, and he does go to the party.
Of course, he might have preferred to be left out, given his treatment. He might have preferred to keep Linus company in the pumpkin patch. Maybe it would have been better to go to bed early.
Last night, as I locked up my office, I looked at the Halloween decorations, decorations that others have put out. I had this despairing thought: I've missed a lot of one of my favorite months. We're closing in on the end of October, and I have yet to make any pumpkin bread. I have some decorating that I haven't done, and likely won't.
But at the end, Linus reminded me that Halloween will come again. Maybe next year the Great Pumpkin will visit us.
Events of this week--the awful diving death of my colleague who was only 53--remind me that we may not have next year. Thus, my determination to return home to enjoy one of the delights of the season, with this TV show.
I am still trying to be mindful each and every hour, to savor my life in that way. So far, I'm not doing a great job. But I am good at tuning in periodically throughout the day.
Clearly I will never be a Zen Buddhist. And the theology of Linus and the pumpkin patch worries me too: I don't like the idea that the pumpkin patch must prove itself before the Great Pumpkin (God?) will arrive. I don't like that Linus will spend the next year preparing to be even better, in hopes that the Great Pumpkin will grace us with his presence.
Is the Great Pumpkin male? I can't remember.
The show does not give us a Lutheran pumpkin patch, where grace rules the day, where a Great Pumpkin would love us even before we've done a single thing to prove ourselves.
Let me focus on the kindnesses of the show: Lucy puts Linus, worn out from his night of waiting, into bed. She has collected some candy for him. Even though various Peanuts kids aren't always understood or accepted, they aren't completely cast out. Charlie Brown and Linus have a friendship that will help them survive being the outsiders of their groups.
Let me remember that I haven't missed the whole of the season. I always say that my favorite corridor is the one from Oct. 1 to Christmas. There's still time: time to bake pumpkin bread, time to enjoy the decorating efforts of others, time to think about buying some candy for trick-or-treaters.