Well, we just had the election and I am sitting here staring into space. I was up most of the night with my eyeballs glued to the election maps until Bill came in and dragged me to bed. I’m struggling now to feel better but I would say it’s not about feeling better - it’s about what I can offer. I’m reluctant to say anything about this. I feel enough has been said, so much has been said, and said so well that we didn’t hear what others were saying. It is possible that this election was lost not in the last few months, but over the many years. It is possible that once this got started, nothing could stop it from happening.
That said, I think it might help someone, myself at least, if I tell you a story.
A few weeks ago, I was laying in a meadow, looking up through my camera at some milkweed. The seeds were gently moving in a soft breeze, such fine little things, so easily moved by almost nothing. They were holding on to their “mother ship” by the finest thread, and I thought perhaps the breeze would be enough to release them. I thought I might get a nice picture of a seed floating in the sky. I waited and waited and nothing ever happened.
There is nothing like laying under a milkweed plant to make me feel like a child again, because of all that soft magic inside of a rough little pod. And something happened while I was waiting. I realized that those seeds would fly, maybe in an hour, maybe in a week, and that there was plenty of time for it to happen. Without saying that nature has feelings, it was as if she had patience. And I knew that those seeds would fly and they’d land somewhere, and if they didn’t grow, some other seeds would, and so it would continue. So again, without making it human, as if they were our feelings, I would say there was faith in that, in the biggest way possible, that nature runs on what we would call faith in the future.
Despite what we might think, I would say that nature is bigger than we are. We are not her masters but her children. And nature has carried the human race through many terrible things.
If this has taught me anything, it’s that campaign funding, endorsements, experience, planning, dignity, values, religion, predictions and truth do not elect the President. People elect the President. Mr. Trump does not have a mandate, but he certainly has our attention. There are lots of things that we can do, not to win or lose as Republicans or Democrats, but to find out how to fix what I believe was behind the Donald Trump movement. People wanted a government that would do something about their problems, in a way that they could trust. I was so mad because it was the Republicans who prevented that from happening, and there they were, winning the election. But I don’t think the Republicans have won the election. Because Mr. Trump doesn’t necessarily have an allegiance to them.
I have just watched Secretary Clinton and President Obama’s speeches. I’m sorry we didn’t have an environment that could accurately portray what these people were doing on our behalf. Or that provided an objective way to evaluate their actions. Or could see how difficult it was to do their jobs in the world as it actually is. Or could do what President Obama wanted to do, which was to work together. But we strained at gnats for Secretary Clinton and missed camels for Mr. Trump. Even so, Secretary Clinton and President Obama are determined to help Mr. Trump succeed in order to keep us safe and to unify our nation. They said that Mr. Trump deserves for us to give him a chance and have our support and our open minds, a courtesy that was not extended to them. President Obama and Secretary Clinton just showed us what they were made of. I think they are magnificent.
I want to add to that, a comment that was made to me, just now, that I think is important to mention. My niece said a friend of hers was so upset at the thought that Secretary Clinton might win the election that he broke out in hives and had an asthma attack. He is a very intelligent, good person who has made it his business to know about politics. I can't discount his point of view. I don't understand it now, but I do need to understand. She also told me that because she lives in a small town and is getting herself through nursing school and is struggling financially, that she is closer to life the way that people actually have to live. She says that she knows plenty of people who are kind, who are smart, who are not racist, who are not against women, not against gay people, and they voted for Trump, in spite of his behavior, because they realize that they can't get by working what they could get if they were on welfare, because they don't see any way for themselves as working people to have a future for their families. I said, "But Hillary would have done something about that." She said, "Not with things the way they are."
I used up my good milkweed pictures but I’ve been saving these river pictures for you. I took them last fall, before we knew that Bill had cancer. Things have certainly come a long way since then, and much has come from the most difficult circumstance in our lives. We are doing lots of healthy things that we would not have otherwise done. It has been said that people never make important changes in their lives when they’re in a good mood. Well, we wanted a change and now we've got it. This is a chance to show what we are made of. So let's go to the source of whatever helps us the most. Let's be calm and smart about this, but let's work on it. For my part, in case you were wondering, I stand for every person, regardless of religion, race, gender, sexual preference or national origin. And in the last five minutes, I've learned that I need to stand for every person, no matter how they voted. I think that embracing differences has never been more important than it is right now. And I will keep dragging nature into every picture and every blog post, because that's what gives me hope. Let's see how we can turn this into something good.
There is always more to a river than we can see at any given moment, and more to where it can take us. I've been grieving for what has happened in this election. I also know that there is a way forward. Because a river always flows in that direction.
PS. Just so you know, the big Facebook button below will bring you to my photography Facebook page. I have a nice little wave video there and a link to my eBooks and am figuring out what else to put on it. Then the little share button at the bottom of this page will give you access to your social media options, if you want to share this blog with your friends.