I almost let today go by without a word.
Because I do not write about politics.
I have people who pop in here to decompress and exchange ideas on everything from what to do about ankle straps to how we endure tests of our faith.
But I love politics. Always have – I used to think I’d run for office one day. And all my close friends know what I think about politics. But this isn’t a political blog. Nor do I want it to be.
Yesterday America voted though. In a pretty significant election by most accounts. Then today we woke up with a new President-Elect in America.
I don’t know why, but I woke up and drove to work with two things running through my head:
One, a song, a duet by Ewan McGregor and Nicole Kidman (from Moulin Rouge), on repeat in my head: Come What May.
Two, a story told around my dinner table on Sunday night.
We’d had a couple of families over for a fish fry on Sunday. The kids were chasing each other in the other room and the grown ups were enjoying a few minutes of uninterrupted adult conversation. One of the husbands was sharing a story about a college friend he’d recently lost. All these guys and their wives had shown up in his town for his funeral. It was a huge loss for the town, the man and his wife both died leaving three young children. Unfathomable. Everyone came to mourn. People who found out they were college friends picked up their meal at the local restaurant and the local motel owner wouldn’t let any of the friends pay for their room that weekend.
It was a terrible time. Everyone was stunned and just wanting to find a way to help.
All I could think, even in the middle of my heartbreak for all of them, is: This. Is. America.
This is what we Americans are doing in the quiet of our daily lives, but the 24 hour news cycle doesn’t pick it up or on-line sensational reporters don’t talk about it.
It’s the kindness of the door holder at a concert venue.
The gracious offer of help from a neighbor.
A hug from a co-worker when you’re feeling overwhelmed.
There’s a line in that duet which I haven’t thought about in well over a decade: Storm clouds may gather and stars may collide, but I love you…Come what may. Come what may.
I am grateful to live in a country where there are so many of us who are still just so very good. Maybe you’re not reading about it today. Maybe it’s hard to remember with all the shouting and disparaging and division.
Even though storm clouds may gather, we will just continue to love each other come what may. I know I get a little idealistic in this spot from time to time. And I’ll admit it’s been pretty hard to get idealistic lately. But indulge me tonight.
Offer to help.
Don’t attack strangers (or your friends or FB acquaintances).
Buy someone a coffee.
Hand out hugs. And smiles. With abandon.
And of course, if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.
Nobody needs to be great again. We could all just continue on being good.