Skunk Mating Season

Skunk Mating Season February 13, 2023

It is that time of year again. We are in skunk mating season. Love is in the air. The roads have the bodies of male animals that are now out of the gene pool. That is what happens when certain drives overcome the will to survive. Every inattentive driver knows the horrid smell of Pepe LePew perfume too late.  It is also Valentine’s day. I do not remember when I first learned the two went together. I decided today to meditate on love in a way most religious bloggers do not. Eros, romantic love, is as spiritual an expression as love of family, mutuality, and compassion. The New Testament does not use the word. But someone decided the Hebrew Bible needed a song about it. I gave it the title just to make sure I did not start taking myself too seriously.

The Mating Drive

Most readers are familiar with the thoughts of St. Augustine on the matter. If there had been no Fall of Humanity, then humans would express sexual love by mating without passion. Leave it to the clergy to take the fun out of everything. A wise King gets the credit for giving the Bible the Song of Songs also known as the Song of Solomon. The son of David is known for wisdom. He is also known for having great energy and ambition. Solomon wrote books, built cities, the Temple, and expanded the Kingdom. He is said to have married 300 women and kept 700 concubines.

Sexual energy is linked to other aspects of a person’s life. Many clergy and religious persons take vows of celibacy as a gift to the church. Celibacy is the gift that allows for better service to the church. And many of these people experience contentment and happiness with their lives. Before we dismiss such claims we would be wise to think carefully about sexual expression.

Sexual Blessing

Reproduction is part of the created order. Having offspring allows life to continue by renewing the basic elements of life. The complex molecules we associate with living things separate and rebuild in sexual reproduction. There is a variety to this viriditas. Vitality and fecundity join into the idea of greenness that provides living things with everything needed to make and remake life. We often think of the planet giving rise to life. One thing learned of the biosphere is that life reshaped the planet into what we know it to be today. The oxygen in the atmosphere is a product of previous life forms. Sexual blessing is the process making the biosphere.

Protestant Theology, too heavily influenced by Augustine, ignores the human body in favor of the mind and the soul. Thinking has been improving in the last few decades with liberal or progressive theologians. However, evangelical theology has often considered the emotional dimension of worship. This is positive even though the connection to sexual energy is ignored or denied. It is assumed the Holy Spirit cannot be involved with sexual energy. That is a shame.

Sexual expression joins people and some animals together for the long term even life long.

Solomon and Mating Season

“The voice of my beloved! Look, he comes, leaping upon the mountains, bounding over the hills…My beloved speaks and says to me: Arise my love, my fair one, and come away; for now the winter is past, the rain is over and gone, the flowers appear on the earth and the time of singing has come,” (Song of Solomon 2:8-12a) Then the beloved talks about the various animals that are beginning to be seen all over the wild areas.

The origin of the song is unknown. Solomon is the only named character in the song. Who is the woman singing in the Song? She does not get a name. But she is dreaming and fantasizing about her beloved when it is time for everything to bloom and begin pollination for fruit to begin growing. She feels the desire for her beloved as well. And she knows her love is part of the greater expression of sexual blessing around her.

Closer to Home

Skunks are among the earliest breeders where we live. The new kits will be born when the weather is warmer. The normally solitary males are run off by the females to live their lives until the season she needs them returns. The liturgical Season of Lent begins about the same time. Lambs are born to the ewes at this time of year. Pollen begins to cover everything. Eros and viriditas take over the lives of many things. The new year’s promise is kept. This is the blessing of sexuality, romantic love, and life. It is all gifts.

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