uberreiniger: (Good Evil)
[personal profile] uberreiniger
Today I began fermenting my first batch of mead. If everything goes correctly, in a few months I will have a drinkable honey-flavored alcoholic beverage. If 15 year-old me could see this he would be shocked and devastated. He'd be frantically searching for how his life could take such a tragic turn.

For nearly all of my young adult life I was of the opinion that drinking - any drinking - was wrong. I owe this to my upbringing in the Free Methodist Church. I didn't hear fiery prohibition sermons from the pulpit or anything - at least none that I can recall. That was simply part of what being a good Christian was, and good Christians did not drink. Or if they did, they certainly did not get drunk.

Another thing to keep in mind is that I grew up in a miserable redneck Midwestern town. There was nothing to do, especially for young people. Binge drinking was common. People started it early in high school and kept it going until long afterward, assuming it didn't just become a permanent way of life. I was against alcohol because everyone around me was so damned for it. I hated the way it made people and what it did to them.

So what changed?

Religiously I am different now. I currently identify as Norse Pagan, or Heathen and alcohol - mead in particular - holds a huge cultural and religious significance in the pre-Christian European way of life. It is not divorced from, or exist awkwardly alongside the sacred there. When Heimdall drinks mead constantly at his station by the Rainbow Bridge or when Odin is said to exist on wine alone, it is thought of merely as another one of their many amazing supernatural attributes. Contrast that Sunday morning church where they just awkwardly try to gloss over and move past the time when Jesus was at a wedding reception that ran dry and He magically conjured up enough wine to keep the party going. It's just... a different mindset. And when you're lifting up a drinking horn in salutation of the mythic ages of the past, filling it with mead just seems right.

My views on alcohol also changed because my experience with it did. I left my town and moved to the big city. I found out it was possible for people to enjoy alcohol without making fools out of themselves or hurting one another. I've never felt the desire to get drunk even once in my life so far, but I've come to enjoy the taste of and the relaxation brought by a cup or two of nice fermented drink. I guess it's just an age-old story: you grow up, your perspectives change.

One thing I know for sure, though: my first batch of mead isn't even a day old, (it won't be ready to drink until at least this winter,) and I already want to start making another one.


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