I went to dinner at the home of an acquaintance recently. A lovely home in a surround of trees along a quiet rural road outside Mendocino. It had beautiful hardwood floors and lots of large windows that served to seamlessly merge the indoors with the bounteous greenery and wide open space of the outdoors.
Enough about the house. The real deal was what the people inside it were doing.
Sitting on the sofa was a young man in his twenties. He was holding a pair of small pruners busily snipping leaves off a marijuana bud; making it perfectly round. Then he tossed the one inch diameter bud into a large two foot round woven basket and continued on to the next one. The basket was a good three quarters full.
I quickly composed my facial expression from very raised eyebrows and turned the Holy Mother of Pearl! exclamation inside my head to Ho…w are you doing this evening? I don’t think he even noticed the slip. From the odor in the air I could tell he’d been sampling the object of his hard work.
At the dining room table a few feet away sat a young woman engaged in the same activity. She was complaining to the young man that she had not even made $150 yet. Even after two days of work. The “work” looked painstakingly slow and tedious.
My host, Marcel told me that it was harvest season. A very busy time for them. He offered me some wine. Then he asked if I wanted to make some extra money. I politely declined, No, no thank you! Where’s the corkscrew for the wine.
So while I sat at the lovely antique oak table sipping a delightful Cabernet, my host’s “family” continued with their “manicuring.”
About a half hour later, Marcel said Ho-kay kids time to clear the table. Let’s put everything away. Chop-chop. Bobo, you need to sweep the floor. Cora, wipe the table and get out the bread and cheese.
All at once the two got up from the table and sofa, gathering all the paraphernalia of the harvest. Bobo got out a broom and dustpan; sweeping all the fallen pot leaves into a pile. Cora put away the bowls and bags and snippers. She wiped down the table and helped me set out some appetizers.
I was bemused as I compared (inside my head) the somewhat abnormal scene in front of me to a typical normal one at my daughter’s house. Books, computer, newspapers all over the table. Mom or Dad coming in and saying Okay Girls, time for dinner. Let’s get the table cleared. Whose books are these? They need to go “in” the bookcase. And that computer, plug it in to recharge on the coffee table.
I began to realize that what passes as normal for some people may not be the norm for others.
Coming out of my reverie, I said Here, I’ll cut the bread. Is this Camembert cheese?
With the room all put back to “normal” one last little run of thoughts whispered through from my private musings Welcome to the Emerald City! Nothing is what it seems. Do not….I repeat, do not go behind the curtain!