It’s a very hot day here today. Humidity at 90%. Degrees more than that. I’m oddly holed up in the house today, growing a bit weary of all this New England Sahara. I suppose I’ve gotten a little down poking around in the news websites and blogs….listening to the staccato tweets and the passing import of Facebook. I remember falling asleep last night with the drone of the television and someone saying that we are at a precipice in our country. We are at the peak. We literally stand before the opportunity to solve huge societal problems – healthcare for all – housing reform – an extension of food assistance – basic needs – education. A lessening of the burden on small business and the entrepreneur. A return to “Made in the USA”! Can you hear it?
Ralph Lauren, tsk, tsk, tsk – but you opened our eyes and we spoke. A legislator known for his soft spoken demeanor said they should burn the uniforms in a pile…..And the US Olympic committee heard and listened. It was tweeted and facebooked. It was embarassed on the Colbert Report. And spoofed on Saturday Night Live. And change happened. They will be remade and they will be made in America! “We” did it – halleluia….let the rain fall down on me.
But in that news report in the wee hours of the morning I also heard the other side. What happens if we totter the other way. Healthcare. Housing. Taxes. Food. Education. It was a fitful night’s sleep.
This photo come across Twitter and it startled me. While I am here in hot, hot, hot New England, a Virginia downpour is happening, not very far away. And the president of the United States was caught in it. At first the thought that came to mind was, ‘is there no one with an umbrella for the president of the United States”? And then the photo changed, and I saw weariness and I saw tears. Perhaps it was just Obama wiping away the rain from his eyes….but in this photo I see America. I see ‘hope’ standing under torrential downpour. And I see weariness to stand out in the rain and say, “We can….”, again.
I keep staring at the photo until I see strength. Don’t get weary on us. Don’t we get weary on ourselves. This is not about who is president of the United States. But it is about the precipice and what will push us, as a country, on one side or the other. Very much like that split moment decision to drop some money in a pan handler’s jar or walk by and avert one’s eyes. On any given day it could go one way or the other.
It is a remarkable time in our country. It can literally go either way. And in that moment of indecision, in the moment that is ‘now’, there is tremendous potential. I believe if we try we will make change as it has never been made before. We will have our failings and oops moments as we plot that path, of course we will. And we will question our steadiness. We will stand up and say who we are as a people and what makes Americans different. We will see compassion as strength and disregard as weakness. We will see rain as not tears, but a washing away, and a new beginning.
So on this hot day and in my sadness and concern for my future, and for my children, this picture is all about taking that moment deep inside of us to be weary, to cry for our country, for our people, literally for ourselves. To be ok with owning that, just for a moment. But it is also about when we open our eyes to the sky and let the rain fall down on our fear and leave us with its strength…new beginnings. Start again.
The rain burst was brief, but doesn’t it seem as though it has been raining for days on end?