It has been quite a year, but very many of us are very thankful about our Presidential election. We’re grateful for a return to sanity, decency, and our espoused American values and political traditions. (As much as possible under the circumstances, anyway.)
Sadly, we’re far from the idealized image of Norman Rockwell’s Freedom from Want. (And weren’t we always, really?) We’ve long upheld those ideal values as our goals, the change we’re trying to be, but we’ve been tested and been found wanting these last years. Maybe 2020 can be a turning point — we skated awfully close to the Abyss this time.
Meanwhile, in local weather news…
Those who know me know I have three weather markers when it comes to winter and snow:
- Will it snow for Halloween?
- Will it snow for Thanksgiving?
- Will it snow for Christmas?
The first is usually bad and indicates a long winter. The second and, especially, the third are good and highly to be desired. (It shouldn’t even be possible to live in Minnesota and not have a White Christmas.)
But that snow was all gone by early in November:
The above was taken on November 10.
The very next day we had another snow storm:
But that snow is all gone now, too.
Here’s what it looks like today:
So, definitely no snow for Thanksgiving.
I just hope we do get snow for Christmas. Kinda sucks when we don’t.
Pity, I have wonderful memories of gatherings inside, lots of people, good drink, good food, good smells, good conversation, good music, and often a well-decorated Christmas tree off in the corner.
All-in-all, those times weren’t that far away from the Norman Rockwell painting above. (The wallpaper was different, but otherwise pretty close to some of the times I remember. Whole lotta very white people.)
Those memories are all decades old now; times have changed. (We’ve come a long way, baby? We surely have, but not nearly far enough.)
Make no mistake, I am extremely grateful for nearly everything in my life. Compared to far too many, I’ve been blessed beyond measure. On a personal level, I have much to be thankful for and little to complain about.
I’ve had, and continue to have, some great friends — people who’ve helped me stay sane in an insane world.
I’ve had incredible opportunities to experience life, to learn (sometimes even to grow as a person), to wake up every morning to what could very probably be a very decent day. (That may not sound like much, but it’s a simple something many would cherish if they could only have it.)
I’ve never been abused, beaten, starved, impoverished, deathly or chronically ill, unjustly imprisoned, homeless, unable to get medical care, or unable to vote. I’ve always been free.
So my blessings are more than I can really number. I just wish everyone could say that. I wish everyone could fall asleep this afternoon feeling safe and full and mostly content.
As far as the Abyss, is there really any point in having hope that this near loss of America will change things? Or is it more likely the polarization will increase, and both sides will continue to demonize the other?
I’m normally pretty cynical when it comes to humans, so I know where I’ll place my bets. Sad that a species in part characterized as “self-aware” so frequently is so blindly stupid.
One only need look at all the people gathering to gorge on turkey to recognize where the real self-stuffing turkeys are.
Maybe we can climb out of the toxic muck into which we’ve sunk so deeply. (One might think there is nowhere to go but up, but, trust me, we still have a lot more we can lose. We’re still awfully close to the edge.)
I want to believe this election will turn things around, at least a little. Maybe if we can do a lot better for a couple years people will recognize the contrast. I choose to hope so.
Stay safe, my friends! Go forth and spread beauty and light.