Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Darling Buds Of May Meet The Ecstasy Of Being

I got to spend some time with my great-nephew Bronner in Alabama.
He's a chip off the old block.
May was beautiful.

I got to spend it in Alabama where I grew up, with my mom and sisters, and nothing is better than spending happy times with family and friends.

But, as editor of Toke of the Town, Village Voice Media's site of cannabis news, views, rumor and humor, I had work to do, man.

What that came to mean, since my mom's house out in the country (in the Burnout community, where I grew up -- yes, folks, it's true, I really grew up in a place called Burnout) doesn't have internet, was that early each morning, around 6 a.m., I'd drive eight miles into Red Bay and use the most reliable wi-fi in town at Subway.

(Side note: Don't ever count on McDonalds for wi-fi in Red Bay, Alabama. It might work at first, but then you'll be disappointed as it goes out for no apparent reason, sometimes for days. You can no more depend upon it than upon Fox News, which, incidentally, they keep blaring in the restaurant's dining area at top volume, all the time. Not exactly appetizing!)

What a great experience Subway was, though! Not only did they have my kind of breakfast food (anything featuring sausage and eggs) and their Internet connection rocked, they were also some of the friendliest people you'd ever want to meet.

This is one of the stories I wrote sitting there in the
Red Bay, Alabama Subway during the month of May.

Here's my branch office in Red Bay. Photo: msmudcat2001
They made me feel welcome in their place of business, even though I had to spend from 3 to 5 hours a day in the place, cranking out stories about marijuana. Talk about the darling buds of May!

And let me tell you, every morning of that great month in Alabama, I'd drive into Red Bay having absolutely no idea what I was going to be writing about that day. I'd check all my sources, pick my material, and have five or six stories up by lunch. That was just as fulfilling and exciting as hell, in itself.

But add to that the fact that Toke of the Town got almost half a million pageviews that month, and I'd say my little experiment making Subway my office five days a week worked out just fine. Cannabis has been very good to me.

For a nostalgic kick just to top everything off, Subway is across the street from the First United Methodist Church in Red Bay, the church I attended my entire childhood and youth with Mom and Dad. That's where I got christened as a baby, baptized as a young man, and joined the church.

In my almost 30 years in the journalism business, there have been a lot of highs (of every kind) and a few lows, too.

May, as a month, was one of those high points. Not only was I writing material with which I was emotionally and professionally engaged -- stories which I felt to be important -- but that writing reached a  large and, evidently, appreciative audience.

Time keeps on slippin'. Summer's lease hath all too short a date. Good times and bad keep passing on by, and the kaleidoscope keeps turning.

But those fleeting, thrilling times when everything is hitting on all cylinders, when intent and karma and the universe all dance perfectly together in a scintillating swirl of synchronicity, when the ecstasy of being peeks through all the cracks of everyday life -- well, those are the times that make it all worthwhile.

So long as men can breathe, or eyes can see,
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.
~ William Shakespeare, Sonnet 18