Imagine All The People: Apples to Oranges
The following is one report of one day’s activities on Planet Earth. We have a general idea of the location as central Florida. This is a Fig Newton of the Imagination, and does not purport to be an official 23:59 report from the United States of America.
It is impossible to fail when we imagine the possibilities to solve every problem. Our results may fail every so often, but when we collaborate to improve our methods then we will eliminate failure and deliver best results.
Here is what was downloaded from the Collective Consciousness. We hope you enjoy this story. Here it goes.
The Caregiver sashayed along the cobblestoned streets of Dreamville, the same town where she was born many moons ago.
She followed the same route Mother María had long ago when she escaped Cuba to live in the Methodist Children’s Home. The air was pregnant with the scent of orange blossoms, honeysuckle, jasmine, and magnolias.
The Caregiver imagined what was in her beautiful Mum’s heart when it happened. Dreamville was a town situated on Florida land that produced a lot of oranges, and a few bad apples.
Just as every new girl in town attracts a lot of attention, so did young María attract attention with her sworthy good looks, solemn demeanor, and striking figure. Yet instead of treating her with respect peculiar to men of good morals, she was bullied for the box around her neck.
Unenlightened young man from “old money” bullied her for this strange invention called a hearing aid. Between old money and new money was an ignored concept drawn out in greater detail than dietary law in Scripture: eternal values. Money could not be young or old, because it could not be birthed nor could it die. It could only be a medium of exchange and a store of value. It would not be able to hug someone around the neck in the twilight of life, nor would money animate itself to bring the awe of a Florida sunset’s crepuscularity. Money was an inanimate object that was a tool for trade. People were priceless creatures whose behavior was worthless when they valued money more than other people. People who need people were the luckiest people in the world, as Barbara Streisand crooned so sweetly. Hard work could increase your chances of good fortune, but its yield was a dead thing without the worker’s recognition of his need for other people.
Bullies. Bullies are scared people inside of scary people, as Michelle Obama observed. Like some bad apples, these young men fancied themselves superior and Mother inferior, as they considered that this Florida land belonged to them and Mother belonged in the Catholic orphanage in Cuba from whence she came. They did not know what the Caregiver knew, which she had learned from Mother. Our land is Our Lady.
Just as unenlightened men take from women without thought for her own health, and substitute commitment for consent in matters of intimacy, so do men believe their countries are drawn by wars, maps, and legalism. The Caregiver knew better than that. So did Mother. The temporal governance of unenlightened men was to eternal governance of God as apples to oranges. Just as every tree is rooted in earthly soil, so are all temporal governments rooted in the womb of La Virgen de Guadalupe. The Caregiver was glad to correct these unenlightened men, who were so impressed with their flags, bloody revolutions, and arcane meetings that they forgot the Mother of God who birthed the God they claimed as their own. As ever, when she saw red, she was reminded of the dominant color on La Virgen de Guadalupe. Red did not mean danger, but like the green and gold on her coverings, red meant life. She walked straight toward Our Lady’s red, gold, and green as every Karma Chameleon does. Temporal danger did not phase the Caregiver.
So it was on this day that the Caregiver remarked how she loved heat and humidity, but she hated air conditioning. The Caregiver preferred life al fresco, with no artificial interruptions in the natural flow of life. When she arrived at Miss Mabel’s house, she heard the usual salutation, “Miss Dixie Joy Pride! What have we here?!” The Caregiver blushed at hearing the infinitive of her birth name, yet walked willingly into the loving embrace of Dreamville’s most trusted Midwife, Mrs. Mabel Oletha Garnett.
Miss Mabel’s acreage was on the outskirts of town, a mansion compared to the trailer parks which dotted the Florida orange groves throughout Alma County. Florida’s fountain of youth was not found by Juan Ponce de Leon, but by the many caring people who treasured the expertise of Miss Mabel. She delivered thousands of Babies without question and often without monetary reward, which is truly the way to build a resource economy.
“Little One, how did you strike this deal?” Miss Mabel was referring to the one-ton truck with its trailer in tow making its way up the driveway after her. The Caregiver, grateful that Miss Mabel used her favorite sobriquet instead of her birth name, smiled with delight. It was so nice to hear affection instead of the stinging reminder of being named after a conquered nation. Dixie. Joy. Joy was something she felt when she though of Momma and Daddy being together forever somewhere in the vast Heavens. Unlike Charley Pride who died 12 December 2020 of Covid-19 after surviving Military service, Jim Crow Mississippi, and years of live performance, her Daddy, a different Charlie Pride altogether, died in Vietnam before she was born. The story is told here, where Momma died of a broken heart and used Daddy’s gun to join him. The Caregiver hoped Albert Einstein was exactly correct. Matter can neither be created nor destroyed. Perhaps it’s all just changing forms. Ashes to ashes and dust to dust.
The Caregiver answered Miss Mabel’s question thoughtfully as she introduced the Gentlemen driving the trucks. “Miss Mabel, please meet Juan, Alberto, Rudolfo, and Jésus. They brought these apples here from Washington State, since they can’t sell them to grocers.” Miss Mabel curtsied politely, which was a much more civilized greeting than a handshake. The Gentlemen bowed politely in response after removing their ball caps. They were exhausted from the hot struggles of bringing farm to market, yet they were refreshed by the warm welcome.
Miss Mabel pulled a large wad of cash from her apron and counted it out to Juan. He was very relieved. He had brought the apples from his small plot of land in the Yakima Valley in good faith, but had been turned away from the green grocer. The green grocer agreed to pay Juan’s very reasonable price per pound, but he refused once he saw the girth of the apples. The huge fruits had swollen to thrice their normal size from soil impregnated with ashes from Mount Saint Helen’s eruption a few months ago. Hence, one apple weighed too much to fetch the normal per pound price. It was such that the Caregiver, never satisfied to allow satellites hovering high above the Earth to perform all the surveillance, followed the news of the green grocer’s broken word from the parking lot where the deal was broken to the Spanish Moss draped Oak trees where the men conversed in Spanish at their next move. She approached them carefully and respectfully, her flame red hair startling them as her amulet of La Virgen de Guadalupe made them feel right at home.
They recognized right away that she was not like other American people. She did not spit loud talk of money through her gnashed teeth while insulting them as most Americans did. She approached them with a simple gesture, “Would y’all like some oranges?” Miss Mabel knew now never to place cash in the child’s hands. So often done to her by people seeking sick favors or perverse people praying to replace quantity time with paper money, the poignant condition of the Caregiver was to remain ever a child in terms of money. Money was not evil; the love of it was evil. People were not evil; their hatred of one another was evil. What was good and better was to barter with available resources, which this child did with great aplomb.
Suddenly the men did not feel like they were from Mexico in Florida, nor strangers in a strange land. It was not that they had gone back to the garden, as Joanie Mitchell sang so sweetly. It was that they had moved forward to the finest farmland with a little help from their new friends. They didn’t notice the color of their skin nor what had seemed like strange orange speckles on the Caregiver’s skin, nor her flaming red hair. They didn’t notice Miss Mabel’s beautiful tawny complexion. They noticed the rainbow of fruits and vegetables set out before them on the picnic table. What would have been a wasted trip across the entire land was now made whole with baskets and bowls full of oven fried chicken, cornbread, pinto beans, crooked neck squash, redskin mashed garlic potatoes, sliced beefsteak tomatoes, watermelon, and mulberry cobbler. They didn’t concern themselves with any perceived language barrier from Spanish to English. Their common tongue was the palette of providence from this divine garden.
Fat as a pheasant and languorous as a lima bean bush, the Caregiver took her position in the bed of Juan’s truck and strapped herself down between the wheel wells with her very own stainless steel ratchet strap. Technically she was breaking the letter of the law by riding in the bed of the truck, yet she obeyed its spirit. Having a young white girl with flaming curly locks in the cab of the truck would only bring danger to Juan, Alberto, Rudolfo, and Jésus. As the Caregiver had often remarked since her Daddy was killed in war before she was even born, America was far more comfortable with war than love. They could not understand the world on any other terms. Yet.
Snugged up between the bushels of oranges and her own stash of the giant apples from Washington State, the Caregiver wondered who she would meet to escort her to the magic apples in Washington State. Father Garnett had given her a generous gift in these magic apples, swollen with the same force that had sadly killed people a few seasons earlier. He had given her very specific instructions, without ever saying a word. Old School Military Men understood the disobedient nature of womankind quite well, and never expected them to obey spoken or written words. They understood even better that without Eve’s maddening, challenging nature, nothing would exist. Adam fell that men might be, and men are that they might have joy, as Prophet Joseph Smith remembered. Father Garnett held up symbols and signs, making stern and sweet facial gestures as he revealed his intended travel protocol to keep her safe. He was fully aware that she had sustained more concussions and God only knows what else in her young life, yet he did not think she was crazy and stupid as many arrogant people did. He just know that she would get off at the destination shown to her on the gown of La Virgen de Guadalupe. Father Garnett knew why the Caregiver stopped on the street corners in awe at the colors of the stop light, unafraid of passersby. The Caregiver was known to sit down on the small patches of withered grass littered with beer cans, cigarette butts, and shards of glass anywhere in Dreamville just to pray the Rosary at the corner before crossing the street when the picture cycled through red, yellow, and white. She would sit there and pray for many cycles of the crossing light, and waited for the appropriate sign, “Walk”. She didn’t know she was at the street corner as much as she was in the presence of God and His Mother. Like many orphans, she loved to attend Mass. She loved to hear more about God who came from a beautiful woman, Mother of God, to love and save orphans and whores just like her. She saw the red, gold, and green of Mother Mary, not the automated inanimate thing that directed the angry, smelly, loud traffic. Red. Gold. And. Green. Like Boy George’s Karma Chameleon, loving would be easy if everyone’s colors were like her dreams. Red, gold, and green.
Staring at the clouds that happily developed to make a canopy over the mulberry bushes, the Caregiver remembered Father and First Lady Garnett’s instructions. Only on the farm could she call them Mommy and Daddy, as many a foster child knew. It was only a generation after the Jim Crow laws were banished in Florida, so it was best to employ formalities to protect everyone’s identities. Pastor and Mrs. Garnett was not accurate in the African Methodist Episcopal tradition. Father and First Lady Garnett is how her de-facto foster parents were known in Dreamville.
She reviewed Father Garnett’s instructions as the aperture of her imagination opened in ecstatic visions. In the same instance, the sun pierced through the heavy clouds, vetoing her shade. She held the patch above her face, supine and snug against the cold metal of the truck’s bed. “HS-1” it read, beneath an exquisite shape she didn’t know how to name. The lovely shape encased a beautiful Seahorse. Daddy was a Seahorse somewhere else before he was something else in Vietnam. She held the ticket above the Military patch from Daddy’s time in the Korean War. She smiled as she was able to read the capital bold faced letters in the exact. “ONE WAY TO SEATTLE, WASHINGTON. THANK YOU FOR GOING GREYHOUND.”
This has been an unofficial 23:59 report from Planet Earth. Imagine the possibilities when we connect through compassion and mutual guarantee.
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