by Bella Rum


H opened the front door the other night and a bird flew inside. The poor little thing (the bird, not H) was scared half to death. We opened all the doors and windows and waited for him to make his exit. He did and all ended well, but isn’t that an omen of some kind? I’ll have to look it up.

Last Saturday, I opened the door to find two men on my doorstep who wanted to come in and proselytize. Now you know that’s a sign of something or other.

We went to H’s cousin’s for dinner on Tuesday night. Boy, was that a long, dark drive in the country. They still get those old-fashioned nights out there where, when they say you can’t see your hand in front of your face, they mean it.

We’ve only kept in loose contact with her over the years. When I was at the hospital for tests before the ablation, we ran into her at the information desk. She volunteers there, and she invited us for dinner. It was a nice evening until she asked what church we attended. It’s never comfortable when that question is asked at a tableful of church goers and you’re not one. Even though no malice is intended, you feel a little like a bug under a microscope, nowhere to hide and all blemishes magnified.

We live in a church-going part of the country, and we’ve lapsed. It seems that every time we see someone we haven’t seen in a while or meet someone new, the question arises. H and I were both, as we say down here, raised in the church – Baptist. The question isn’t asked to make us squirm (maybe a little). It’s asked because it’s assumed that we attend somewhere. When we tell them that we don’t attend anywhere, they invite us to their church, which is exactly what she did. Then H leaves it to me to squirm out of it like the little worm that I am. She was not giving up easily. She still goes to H’s old church in his hometown, “There are a  lot of people there who want to see you.”

I believe people mean well. They seem a little burdened with the outcome of our souls. It’s all love, but a sticky love. Sometimes I think it would be better to bake some cookies, rent a hall, hold a meeting and tell everyone at one fell swoop that we’ve “fallen away.”

Still, it was nice to eat comforting food, catch up with family and see the new baby.

Then the conversation turned to the Tea Party movement.

On to  other things…

I threw myself out of bed again. It’s been a while. I was in a meadow with potentially dangerous horses, and I had to throw myself across a ditch to get away. When I woke, my bottom half was still in bed, but my top half was hanging on to the nightstand for dear life. I knocked everything off the tabletop and broke a small blue-and-white bowl and my onyx lamp. Only the light bulb broke and where the bulb attached to the base. H fixed it for me. I have a huge bruise on my left shoulder and breast. Lovely.

I searched the bird-flying-in-the-house thing. Superstition holds that a bird flying into a house means a death is likely to happen soon. Another superstition claims that it only means change is coming. No mention of church attendance.

Bella Rum is off to Williamsburg today where “The Anglican gentry in Virginia has long had a reputation for shallow faith and attendance at church born more of habit and a desire for social contact than piety or zeal.” — Colonial Williamsburg