The year that lasted forever is finally coming to an end. We hope for better days soon. Election jitters, along with pandemic pandemonium, mutes our usual social festivities and song. Winter darkness descends with daylight savings, ominous winds swaying half the town’s timber and next, the holidays coming, hushed and quieter in Sonoma.
I wonder what’s next? We’re on pins and needles, it’s a doozy of disastrous times and hesitant hope. All I can say is: grab both sides of the canoe and hold on! Who will be our leader? This season will go faster than a speeding bullet, you might even need to leap tall buildings in a single bound! And just where is Superman when we need him? Superman is Not Coming, says Erin Brockovitch in her new book, so it’s up to us to survive.
Stand by, there’s plenty to worry about. Even grasping gobbledygook wording in our voting ballots was enough to cause throbbing headaches. So many feel powerless, without electricity or warmth, suffering the loss of loved ones, income, or housing. Then there’s the profound importance of protecting the marginalized, and deep concern about all equal rights, including honoring reparations (responsibility, not just apology, for harm done) with Black Lives Matter. And let’s not lose track of Women’s Rights.
Double bubble toil and trouble – during her confirmation hearings, Amy Coney Barrett repeatedly said she is not “hostile” to the Affordable Care Act, yet she has published writings in the past critiquing it; she said she would not act with an “agenda” on abortion, but in 2006 she added her name to a newspaper ad calling for an end to what it referred to as the “barbaric legacy of Roe v. Wade.”
Still, liberty and justice for all lives on. Many women want freedom of choice and voice while countless men are shifting old paradigms of identity. Males were taught their power comes from rough, mean-spirited attack. As Riane Eisler, guest speaker hosted by Praxis Peace Institute, writes, “Unlink masculinity from domination and violence and femininity from subordination and obedience.”
Hope and integrity remain. Colin Kaepernick finally got some appreciation after he was shunned for bravely “taking a knee,” though it later took another knee on the neck of a black man, leading to his tragic death, to wake up the world.
Our world is topsy-turvy, with a lot of nail biting, ticklish conflict, grieving, and jittery anticipation about our future. Some are swiftly leaving sunny Sonoma, relocating, seeking calmer waters and fire free air. The cauldron bubbles with everyone wanting safety and fighting for their rights.
What’s next? Ethical values, respect, and community are everything now. We’ll all have to pitch in and help the boat stay afloat. There is much work to do on this swelling earth, in our town and families, no matter how the elections fly or erupt. Keep active hope says Joanna Macy, stay involved and engaged. Do self-care and radical reaching out in safe ways, give service to others as we round this corner. Get rest, water, walks, ask for help, whatever works to float your boat safely.
I just thank God for my morning coffee.