Thursday, May 18, 2006

Starbucks' Patron Saint?

Today is cold, considering it is past mid-May. Good for me, since I took the chance to put in some more grass seed, which prefers it cool. I’ve been watering it — or rather, the straw which covers it — hoping for little green miracles. What is it about us that is drawn to green swards? Maybe our genetic origins on the savannahs somewhere. I’ll have to ask Wally Ballou. He knows everything worth knowing (mostly) but doesn’t tell you unless you ask.

Violets Under the Pawlonia
We had the most lovely violet season this year. Many people consider them weeds, but the Baron loves them. I must admit I like their very green, heart-shaped leaves even if they are invasive. They’re easy enough to rip up, and compard to the darn mimosa seeds, at least they never grow into trees with tap roots that go the center of the earth.

The false indigo is blooming fitfully, as it did last year. It’s been in that spot a long time, perhaps I ought to divide it or feed it whatever it is legumes like. It, too, is a pretty blue.

The dahlias that the Boy gave me for Mother’s Day last year came back! They’re not supposed to do that, but there they are. Of course the figs aren’t supposed to fruit every year this far north, but they do that, too.

Today is the farmer’s market in town. I am going to see if anyone has cranesbill to add to my patch and will buy some red geraniums to plant by the red bench. Last year, Elizabeth’s mother gave me a huge pot of Dragon’s wing (I think) begonias. They were beautiful all year. And now, her mom is recovering from by-pass surgery and not doing well. If you’re the praying type, picture a dignified and beautiful elderly Greek woman who is need of your assistance. If you’re not the praying type, just give her a passing thought occasionally — as I would for your friends if I knew them.

And just for the record, on this day in 2003, John Paul II beatified the inventor of cappucino. That in itself is reason enough for beatification by my standards, but JP had other motives:
Marco d'Aviano, known as a fiery orator, persuaded European Christian monarchs to lift the Ottoman siege in Vienna in 1683. A biography records that during the fighting, d'Aviano brandished a crucifix at the Turks, shouting, "Behold the cross of the Lord: Flee, enemy bands!"

Well known in the 17th century as a preacher of penance and a miracle worker, d'Aviano is thus something of a patron saint for European Christians alarmed over Muslim immigration and fundamentalism in Islamic states. Many Europeans believe that the Twin Towers attacks in the United States took place on Sept. 11 because it was the eve of the anniversary of the battle in Vienna on Sept. 12.

Cappucino. Yum. Gates of Vienna? Mais, oui!

Given Pope Benedict’s pessimism about Europe surviving with any Christian identity, perhaps he will move the beatification process forward for d’Aviano. Let’s get Starbucks behind it.


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