Last Wednesday, I arrived at the campground feeling exhausted and unwell. I was dismayed by the size of the campground and the number of oversized RVs. I felt like we had moved very far from the solitude of backpacking, and I dreaded the next few days. More important, it was the day after the mid-term elections, and I was feeling burnout after 6 years of rolling political struggles.
Over the last years I have worried endlessly about the state of democracy and that the right of a woman to hold dominion over her body would be scuttled by a very conservative Supreme Court. But most of all I worried about the state of the human race. What had happened to decency and kindness, our ability to disagree without hating each other?
While Tuesday’s election brought some relief, some sign that craziness is on the decline, our politics are still undecided. The possibility of retaliation politics and other discourse still exists. I don’t think that Trumpism has released its stranglehold on many Americans; absolute power and idle worship are hard addictions to break.
Late Wednesday afternoon in our little campsite, John built a fire. I sat in my rocker and rocked. I closed my eyes and focused on the breeze streaming across my face. I listened to the brown oak leaves scattered beneath my feet as they caught the wind and rustled across the ground, and I heard the sound of insects echoing in the air. My mind drifted to the memory of backpacks of years past, sitting on the ground in front of a fire with a breeze tickling my face. I felt an intense sense of peace.
I am finishing this post on Saturday evening and pieces of our election are still undecided. But by current counts, this has been a good week for democracy. Many struggles are still ahead but I feel hopeful and am gaining strength in the belief that we will endure this storm.