So this short story was published in July 2012’s edition of Pagan Edge and the theme was food. I have hinted at various fights with foliage in previous entries and some of that foliage is indeed of the edible variety. I’m more than a little food-centric sometimes and I’m indulging in attempting to grow some edible plants, so this is a topic close to my heart (albeit perhaps closer to my stomach). I don’t quite take the view presented in the story, but that’s why it’s a story. In real life, I have found out that bug spray is less a deterrent and more of a seasoning (my left elbow is particularly delicious). That’s funny enough for Twitter or Tumblr if I had those, but not for a 600 word story.
Carol was working hard in her garden, as usual, when she heard her friend Kal come through the back door.
“Every time I see you these days you’re up to your knees in dirt,” Kal said.
“Gardening is hard work,” Carol replied, standing up and dusting off her pants. “It’s not just about having fresh veggies either.”
“Then what’s it all about?” Kal asked, trailing Carol to another part of her garden. “You’ve got more garden these days than lawn.”
“I found this has brought me closer to my gods,” she said, pulling out some weeds.
“Really? How so?”
“Well, I never really appreciated how much of the ancient religions, what we know of them anyway, were dedicated to food.”
“Beltane is a fertility festival. It’s obvious,” Kal said.
“I know that, but I didn’t really appreciate it until I started trying to grow my own food. I really started to understand why people were so concerned with the coming of spring and the rites of fertility. To me, it’s a hobby, but to them, it was their livelihood.”
“I never thought about it like that.”
“There are so many gods of food and seasons and wine,” Carol said, gathering up some fresh herbs. “And of course the other side of planting is harvest, which was probably even more important to the ancient people. At Samhein, that’s why you give an offering to the gods, to thank them for a good harvest and ask for their blessings for the following year.”
“I know that part,” Kal replied a touch irritably.
“Yes, but I think it means more to me now that I have this garden. I know how much work goes into making my food grow and I’ve been saying a lot more prayers than I used too.” She examined a plant critically. “And the rabbits still get into my lettuces.”
“This garden has really been a learning experience. I wouldn’t recommend it for everyone, but it works for me,” Carol said.
“I think I understand your obsession better, but I think it’s not for me. I am, however, happy to help you eat the fruits of your labors,” Kal replied with a smile.
Carol laughed. “That’s fine by me.”