Thursday, October 29, 2009

Ode to Candy Corn

As the air turns crisp and the month creeps ever closer to Halloween, every candy dish in the office flows like a horn of plenty. Brightly wrapped toffees are nestled on top of a bed of miniatures Baby Ruths, fun sized Snickers, and little bags of M&Ms. While the world uses October to celebrate the invention of chocolate, I use this opportunity to indulge in the season’s finest offering, the candy corn.

It saddens me that this sweet confection is only available once a year. There are so many ways I love to eat them. Sometimes I will bit each color off and have a nibble of white, a bite of orange, and then a little dessert with the yellow. Sometimes I will put two in my mouth and grind my molars on them until they make a sweet paste that I can roll across my tongue. And then there are the times that I put a whole handful in my mouth until all my spit turns into that thick, syrupy slurry that harkens me back to Halloweens of my childhood. Mostly I just pop them into my mouth, one by and one, until I look down and wonder if there is a hole at the bottom of the bag.

Some of you readers just had your salivary gland kick into action and gave your lips an unconscious lick. But just as many curled their lips in disgust, much the way I would at the thought of a vegan meal. Candy corn is a very galvanizing candy. You either love it or hate it. You will never met someone who is wishy-washy on the issue. The response is either, yes, I love them, do you happen to have any on you so that I may enjoy the sweet goodness within? Or, that is disgusting, I would rather suck on my grandmother’s dentures. Think I am lying? Turn to your co-worker next to you and ask them how they feel about it.

I don’t understand those people who feel the bile back up into their throat when they think about my beloved candy corn. Candy corn is simply sugar (good), corn syrup (good), and honey (best). It is candy in its purest form. Three layers of color to represent three forms of sugar that is whipped together into a sweet treat that makes my heart sing. Nothing heralds the coming holiday like a bowl of them at your desk, or a glimpse of the package sitting like a sparkling jewel amid the miles of the other candy that you can buy year round. Nothing is funnier than candy corn fangs, or more fun than making designs on your desk that you are then able to slowly eat away at.

Fun fact for you according to Brach's (who make the best candy corn, but closely followed by the Jelly Belly Company), each year Americans eat enough candy corn that if the kernels were laid end to end, they would circle the Earth four times. My yearly consumption of those perfect drops of pure sugar surly accounts for one circumnavigation. Tomorrow, October 30th, is National Candy Corn Day. I am going to celebrate in style, and to all of my fellow candy corn lovers, pay proper tribute to our tiny tri-colored friends. Happy Halloween!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Last Saturday

Last Saturday the morning sky was dismal and gray and as I woke up my mood was in the same vein. I could feel the oppressive force pushing down on me like a hand. I was worried that the melancholy mood would roil out and follow me to the temple; affecting all of those confined to the tiny cabin of the car for the hours the commute would take.

I allowed myself to wallow for a beat, and then reluctantly dropped out of bed to the floor and offered up a prayer. As the carpet bit into my knees, I could feel a calm pour over and coat me like thickened nectar. I often hear people refer to themselves as a chalice or vessel that fills up with the Spirit, permeating their entire being. I don’t know if these words can fully describe what was felt. It was a warm, loving feeling that encased my whole self. Filling me, completing me, igniting the spiritual half of myself.

Rising from the ground, I was on fire. I felt so vibrant, that moments before I could only be described as asleep, deadened to the subtle whisper of my Constant Companion. The rest of the day was a high that made the drive to the temple pass by in the blink of an eye, the Endowment session rich with undertone that I felt rippling below the surface, a permanent picture of the light that shown from our friend’s face when she saw we were there forever pressed into my memory, a wedding brighter with the joy in the air, and friendships especially treasured.

That night, as I returned to my room, I again knelt in prayer and with a greatful heart, I told my Father how much I cherish days like that. Not every day is like Saturday, but it is those days that makes all the other bearable.