I am not going to lie, the past week plus has been one horrid story after another coming out of our government, hate, exclusion, outright lies, and there are many folks out there that are scared. Not a little concerned, downright scared for themselves, loved ones, friends, and communities. I am, though accident of birth and geography a member of the privileged class, and because of this, I feel it is my duty to shut my mouth, listen to these groups, and pitch in where they say I would be most helpful.
These feel like dark times, but in wave after wave, I see a whole host of my fellow Americans saying: “Bullshit! This is NOT our America!”, and it makes me proud. Proud in a way I haven’t been of my country in a long time. It seems that the masses are rising up, pointing to our founding documents, the motto we present to the world when it arrives on our Eastern shore, and saying: “This is what we were founded on, and this is how we want our country to run”! I am seeing the America so many believe in beginning to peep its head out from behind the clouds. Will it be easy? No. Will it happen overnight? No. I do believe that humanity will win over humiliation, though.
And that is as tall of a soapbox as I can stand on right now. There are those who are better able to explain, discuss, and enlighten; one of my favorites is Jim Wright, who writes over at Stonekettle Station: he’s retired USN, brilliant, eloquent, and when he’s not pissed off, he has tales that will make your stomach hurt from laughing.
Life goes on here in Maine, though I find I am careful to avoid politics, as are many folks here, it seems to get folks too fired up, and I avoid it like the plague since I am the new kid in town. No way do I want to alienate folks I just met, and would like to remain friends with for years to come.
We have had snow on the ground here for nearly a month straight, and the few inches down now are pretty much compacted down into ice, which makes it super easy to explore the woods behind the house, which is what I did this afternoon. No milkweed to trample, no wild berry vines to tangle, no excess of leaves obscuring the view. I got to the top of the ridge on our property, shut my eyes, tipped my head back, and just took deep breaths. The cold air, tinged with pine from the fallen branches, the scolding of the chickadees, the calm I brought into my mind, willfully.
There is something about this state that meshes with me. I wasn’t completely sure about small town living, but I really enjoy it here, where kids grow up together because their parents did, and everyone knows all the stories from years gone by. The clean air, the constant bright sunshine, water everywhere, and honestly, the smaller population.
Okay, so it doesn’t hurt that I checked on the Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) nest across the street today, and there are “nestorations” going on, and I am pretty sure I will get to see eaglets this year!
Life for the family has been both busy and a little difficult, but because we have always had an open conversation policy, it is nowhere near as bad as it could be, which I am grateful for. Both kids do multiple sports, along with theater, which leads me to feeling like a chicken with its head cut off most days, running them around!
I have been more thoughtful lately, and by thoughtful I mean “more in my head”. I have been pondering more, thinking things through, trying to decide on many things. I think one of the biggest things I have decided on is that I am going to go get more life birds this year, and that I am choosing happy. Not every day is assured, not every tomorrow is promised, so for right here, right now, I will do the right thing, and let the universe handle the rest.
Sometimes that means dancing outside in a short-sleeved shirt in January, and realizing you are going to be okay.