Peach Pie

peach pie12

In the 1960’s back in Iowa, family reunions started happening around this time of year.  We would make long treks to distant parts like Spencer, Iowa or Coralville, Iowa to meet with cousins by the dozens, with Great Aunts and their great families… people we looked somewhat like and were actually related to, but usually didn’t see more than twice in any given year.  And there were some who lived in far off Cleveland, Ohio that you only saw twice in the entire decade.  And it isn’t real easy to play with the kids you are related to but don’t see every day.  Squabbles happen more often than not.  What was the solution to that kind of warfare?  According to Great Aunt Marie, the solution was a nice piece of peach pie.  The offending cousin and I would each get a slice of the solution to eat side by side.  Aunt Marie always had peach pie for family gatherings.  She learned to make them exquisitely when they lived in Texas in the 1940’s.

Now that I live in Texas myself, and the governor of Texas, the heir to Emperor Rick Perry, the estimable Republican Prince Gregg Abbott, has declared that we can’t risk letting Syrian refugees into our State because, out of the thousands seeking refuge from violence and murder, one or two might be terrorists, I am reminded of the way Aunt Marie taught peace with a piece of peach pie.  The alliteration was glorious, and the sweetness lingered long after you had eaten your share.  Why can’t we offer the Syrians a little peach pie?

The Syrians (actually less than one percent of them, ISIS is not a majority of Syrians or Muslims either one) hate Texans for the same reason they hate the French in Paris.  We are dropping bombs on their homes.  Texans went out of their way to insult the Prophet Mohammed by hosting a hate cartoon contest and exhibition in Garland, at the event center next door to the high school where I used to teach.  You have to expect squabbles from people you treat like that.  And I am not saying that we don’t need to fear folks like the two terrorists who died in a shootout with Garland police as they tried to attack the insult-the-prophet event with guns.  But those two guys were not from Syria.  They came from Arizona.  By rights, we should have Governor Abbott refusing to allow refugees of any kind from Arizona to enter our State.  Especially since he is a vocal advocate of their right to openly carry firearms even into restaurants.

I want to give a piece of peach pie to each of the little refugee kids with big, brown, terror-filled eyes.  They haunt my dreams.  Their only desire is to escape the people trying to kill them and blowing up their homes.  Peach pie makes it better.  Aunt Marie is in heaven now, but if you could ask her, she’d tell you, “You should teach to each peace with a piece of peach pie.”



Filed under humor, Paffooney, philosophy, politics, Uncategorized

12 responses to “Peach Pie

  1. We need more Aunt Marie’s in the world and fewer folks that are xenophobes and fear mongerers. Of course, we should be vigilant, but we cannot cede the higher ground and become less of who we are. We need to share our peach pie with those in need and protect our freedoms, especially that to worship the way we want, which is a cornerstone of our constitution.

    Ask the so-called leaders, what comes after closing mosques….. closing temples, closing synagogues, closing UU churches? What comes after letting only Christian Syrians in the country….not allowing Sikhs, Jews, Buddhists or HIndus? There is a Niebuhr quote lingering in my mind when I see this kind of talk.

    • I get angry thinking about the rhetoric coming from the fearful conservative elites. They will do things in the name of “protecting” us that they have no right to do. But I have never been any good at anger. I need to make a joke and twist a metaphor hard enough that pie falls out of it. The only power I have left is laughter. But Mark Twain said that “against laughter… nothing can stand.” (Unless the internet misquoted him again, in which case, I disclaim all responsibility for the joke.)

  2. What a beautiful thought–just give everyone a piece of peach pie. Coupled with my plan to teach everyone how to relax in a restorative yoga pose called “legs up the wall,” world peace is imminent. There is no way anyone could wage war against anyone else if they were relaxing with their legs up the wall and delicious peach pie dripping down their face…I think we’re on to something here.

  3. I think breaking bread together can’t help but lead to the beginning of a conversation, which is how you begin to truly understand people who are different to you. Religious texts and literature are full of the archetype of sheltering the stranger and offering sustenance. I think your aunt Marie might have been on to something 🙂

  4. This is well as tasty philosophy for peace.

  5. Reblogged this on mermaidcamp and commented:
    refugees from Arizona….

  6. Reblogged this on Catch a Falling Star and commented:

    Whether we are talking Syrians or Hondurans or even relatives from Florida, everybody could stand a slice.

  7. This. So much this, Mark. I can’t stand it when people vilify an entire ethnic, religious, or lifestyle group by the acts of a handful. I always wonder if those people have ever met anyone from that group, or spoken with any at length to learn about them, their lives, their fears, their hopes. There are bad seeds in every group, but that doesn’t mean they are all bad. I just wish there was a way to make those people see that most people are good at heart. Peach pie might help!

    • I am married to an immigrant from the Philippines. I spent most of my teaching career teaching English to Spanish speakers. I finished my career as an ESL teacher, with students from places like Honduras, Egypt, Brazil, Lebanon, and China. You are right that people would learn to love them easily if they just got to know them. Aunt Marie was a very wise lady.

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