This morning, feeling mostly rested from last night's soaking rain, I woke to see the sun's rays reflecting off of a yellow maple onto a wet cedar deck. Everything nearby—the driveway matted with leaves, the lichen-encrusted fence, the garage, the dawn sky—glowed golden. When I got Calvin downstairs I was greeted with the good news that so many women had won their hard-fought races in yesterday's election—White women, Black women, Latina women, Native American women, Muslim women, gay women, republican and democratic women—and that democrats had taken the House. I felt myself glowing.

After a cold, wet, four-day weekend spent indoors with a sick and seizing child, I stepped outside with Nellie welcoming warm wind and sun. Under a sky nearly as clear and blue as the ones in the West, I mused further on the outcome of the election, on a congress finally beginning to reflect more people like me—women—as well as one beginning to mirror the rest of America's growing diversity. I felt hopeful.

Later, when I sat down at my laptop, I came across a photo my sister-in-law had taken of her eighteen-year-old son, Ben, who had just voted in his first election. In the photo he was providing his family with up-to-the-minute election-night results, the light from his phone illuminating the American flag emblazoned on his chest. And although Ben, who lives in Florida, may not be happy with most of the state's results, I see in this photo the afterglow of what was in so many ways a promising election. I was proud to see his civic engagement at such a young age, while lamenting too many so-called grownups who chose not to vote.

It seems in great part that Americans voted for much of what I had hoped for in my last blog post: love, truth, honesty, decency, justice, equality, brotherhood, sisterhood, unity, wisdom, humility, empathy, charity, diversity. Now, I hope those elected can make policy so that not one American goes without affordable healthcare, not one person is denied their human and civil rights, not one person is disenfranchised.

I was also heartened to see that another state, Missouri, voted to allow the use of medicinal cannabis. Perhaps our new congress will legalize cannabis so we can board a plane with Calvin again. Speaking of which, though Calvin had a horrible October full of seizures, and a poor start to November, I'm still hopeful that the Palmetto Harmony CBD oil will help quell them when we find the right dose.

In the afternoon, I took Nellie out for another walk before Calvin came home from school. At the fields I saw a college student—tall, handsome, thick dark curly hair, light brown skin—taking a photograph with a good old-fashioned 35 mm camera. I waved him over knowing he was probably one of my husband's photography students. I introduced myself by name and as Michael's wife. Shaking my hand, he told me his name—Nate—then went on to explain that he was redoing the first assignment, noting that Michael's class is his favorite at Bowdoin, so he wants to put in extra time. When I asked what the assignment was he said, "light," motioning with an extended arm to the sky at my back. I turned to see that cumulus clouds had moved in above us and at the horizon, their puffy edges skirted in blinding white—silver linings—from the sun passing behind them. Along with everything else today, the sky was glowing, which I took to be a good and welcome omen.

Photo by Lisa Kolster

No comments:

Post a Comment