Walking with Cake: country-view

(I love this view near my little city.)

“Hope” is the thing with feathers –
That perches in the soul –
And sings the tune without the words –
And never stops – at all –
 –Emily Dickinson


Yesterday was rainy and gray, and I spent the day in sadness, caught up in my thoughts and eating too much Halloween candy. I let myself take a little time to grieve the loss of so many things, for my boys, for my family, for our country. But this morning, the sun came out after a week of rain, and things seemed clearer and brighter. My heart is bruised and battered, as I’m sure yours is, but I feel a little better today.

This morning, I woke early as usual, to take our new puppy out in the dark. She’s a joy to our family and a wonderful distraction, too. I drove the boys to school, came home and tidied up after breakfast, then went back to school and spent some time listening to second graders read to me. It’s one of the favorite parts of my week, and when I’m volunteering, I find comfort in the class routine. My sons’ school is love-filled and diverse, a microcosm of our town filled with children from all kinds of backgrounds and experiences. It reminds me of my own elementary school and I’m so grateful that my boys are able to attend this wonderful place.

The students are getting ready for Thanksgiving, and my youngest son decorated a giant feather that will become part of a large turkey display. They’ll have a week off school, and then the Christmas holidays will be upon us. It’s almost the end of the year, and what an eventful year it’s been. I’ve been holding my breath in anticipation of the election, and now it’s over. It’s over in more ways than one, but life is continuing at a steady pace. My little puppy needs walking every morning at 5:15, and my boys wake wide-eyed and excited for the day ahead. Those things are enough to get me out of bed each morning, to push me forward into my day.

The months and years ahead will be hard, that’s about all we know right now. I worry what our country will become as my boys grow into teenagers, and then young adults. It might be so different from what I’ve known, or it might not be that different at all. What I thought I knew didn’t hold true on Tuesday, but I’m hopeful that things might still change. I know I’m not alone in my beliefs, or in my worries, and I’m comforted that so many others share my views. I’m hopeful that we will transform our fear and anger into action, and from that, good things will come.

My heart breaks because others will suffer, and that is the most difficult part. I’m encouraged by the protests and the voices who won’t be silenced; by my city and county, who voted in opposition to the rest of my state; by the teachers at my sons’ school, who work tirelessly to teach our children, no matter what.

I hold onto that “thing with feathers” and the idea of better days ahead, especially for my boys. It’s enough to keep me going. It has to be.

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