Close to politics

Only Some Things are Good Upside Down

Posted by on Nov 12, 2008 in Close to politics | 0 comments

It’s November, my favorite month, despite the fact that I have a birthday this week. The hurry of fall makes me hasten my already fast pace to a frantic whirl, like a squirrel dashing about for acorns, and often just as haphazard. I look about at all the things that need to be done  and the things I want to do, but instead of cleaning the garage, taking a trip to anywhere but here, or doing the million mundane chores that should be done to keep the house running, I sit down and write. My life seems to grow sweeter with each passing day and even when someone tells me I am reaping the good harvest from what I have sown, I shake my head in amazement. Most every good thing that I have has come almost by accident, often by misadventure. My daughter who has had the most horrific and wonderful things come to her in turn says with a shrug, “Well, that’s what happens when you put yourself out there.” Not much time for crying over spilt milk in this household, just full throttle on to tomorrow.

I don’t believe in fate or predestination, despite how much life tries to force me into it’s own opinions in that regard. I do believe in seizing the opportunities that lie clearly in my path, for better or worse, and using them to learn. My upbringing prepared me to expect the worst from life so every good thing is a surprise and delight. Among the surprises of the week our new president elect has to top the list. I texted my son late Tuesday with a simple “Halleluljah the good guys won.” The next day I woke up in what looked like the same world but a paradigm shift had occurred. A glimmer of hope replaced the despair that once hovered over the world like a toxic cloud. Everyone seemed to breath a collective sigh of relief. If there were staunch Republicans out last Wednesday I assumed they were wearing their invisibility cloaks.

At the gym on Thursday I scanned across the dozen TV screens in front of me and saw something that made me realized the rock ribbed were just in temporary shock. One of our local residents has decided his protest to the Democratic victory would be to fly his American flag upside down. I later found that this was not an isolated phenomenon across the US on Wednesday. Now I have no problem with protest of the government, and have even been involved in some civil disobedience from time to time, but goodness, I’m an old hippie and people have come to expect that sort of behavior from my kind. In the car on Sunday my girl said to me, “Now I don’t have to be afraid to fly in an airplane. I am not ashamed to tell people from other countries that I am an American. I have hope for our country. That has never happened in my lifetime.”  Then she added, “but everyone will be expecting so much of him.”

I think back to the day she was born, March 31, 1981, listening to the news as we drove to the hospital in the wee hours of the morning. “Firing at close range, a lone gunman shot and wounded President Reagan.”  I was not a Reagan fan, but my first thought was, “Oh please let him be all right.” I was too young to vote the last time we had a man with the charisma and courage of Obama in office. I was still too young to vote when the shots rang out in Dallas, taking a flawed but remarkable man from the world stage.  This time I not only voted, I worked for Obama, as did my children and many others. It was enough to turn Virginia’s complexion from an embarrassed red to a rich vibrant blue. Now comes the waiting and hoping that the seeds of this new beginning fall on fertile soil, take root, and mature in the fullness of time. For our flag reversers I would just say that you had your chance to make a better world and even Republicans will have to admit we’re in a bit of a mess. Now it’s our turn at bat, so just suck it up and play nice. Remember, the world is watching.

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