This is not about candidates or issues. It's not about changing your mind or swaying your opinion, as the time for that has well and truly come and gone. This IS a post about storytelling, spirituality, and fear.
My mother was a poll worker for many years. She did it because it was interesting work,
because she genuinely enjoyed talking to all of the different people, and
frankly, because we could always use the extra cash. She would come home tired--they were very
long days--but content, and with a fair amount of folksy news and amusing
stories to tell. And even in
controversial election years it seemed to be a genuinely enjoyable experience.
That is not this year.
As we have all watched the increasing ugliness, unrest and
aggression, I have said that you could not pay me to go near a polling place on
election day this year (and as a matter of fact I made a point to cast my vote
by absentee ballot a couple of weeks ago).
But over the past week or so it has really hit home what I am saying by
my refusal to vote in person.
I have been thinking more and more of the various
firehouses, churches, and schools where my mother has worked and where we have
cast our ballots. Thinking about all of
the decent people she has worked with, that like her, volunteered to do a job
out of patriotism, interest, or need.
These places, these people, will take the brunt of whatever happens
And I......I don't have a good feeling about it. I'm worried, not about the election outcome
right now, but the more immediate concern about all of these raised tensions,
clashing beliefs, and the powder-keg potential for violence.
I've darkly joked about treating today as though it were
some horrible cross between the day after Thanksgiving and New Year's Eve, with
all the angst and cons of both days.
I've talked about holing up at home with tea and a couch full of snuggly
blankets, watching the fallout through the cold glow of the internet. But I know many--most--do not have that luxury.
I'm not deluding myself into thinking that I can have any
sort of impact on the actual election, this country, or the world in
general. But I can lay out my
rocks. I can light my candles. I can mix
my herbs. And I can try to assuage my
own worry by a sending of thoughts, prayers, and hopes.
So, for those poll workers who are doing their jobs, for the
kids trying to learn in one of the many polling places, and for all those
people who are just trying to go about their day today, I wish for you light
and love, peace and protection, and the safety of home no matter where you are.