I’m writing this on Monday night, and I just heard the news that 46 people—most likely migrants—were found dead in a trailer near San Antonio, Texas. Last week, Roe v. Wade was overturned. Last month, 19 children and 2 adults were shot to death in Uvalde, Texas, in yet another senseless example of unrestrained gun violence.
I want somebody to blame.
HOWEVER. . . I know it doesn’t solve anything to hate people on the other side of the political divide. Yet I have no hope that this division will be resolved. I have no wisdom, no knowledge, no healing words.
Don’t we all want to live in a nation where we feel safe, where the needs of children and old people and families and anyone who is alone and vulnerable and lonely—in other words everybody—that all our needs are met, because we are a generous and compassionate people? Don’t we all want to live in a nation where education and health care are valued? Where diversity is celebrated?
Why is this so hard?
I saw a meme on FB that said “Independence Day has been canceled due to a lack of independence.” (Ha ha)
Tempting to say—as another meme did say—the USA doesn’t deserve a birthday party this year. But in my neighborhood I guess we’re going ahead. I’m going to go out and walk in the Buffalo Chips Running Club Annual July 4th Fun Run. It goes right by my house, so why not? My friends and I (no spring chickens) walk in the back. We have fun.
I have a story I want to tell. A couple weeks ago I was hiking with these same walking buddies early on a Saturday morning. We were crossing a wide spot on the American River on a long pedestrian bridge. I was chatting with my friends, glancing out toward the water when I saw a large bird headed our way. Thoughts and images came very fast: is that a turkey vulture?—no. Biggest wingspan I’ve ever seen. Rippling wingtips. OMG. That’s a bald eagle. A BALD EAGLE!!!!! Coming right at us!
I stopped talking mid sentence, my mouth open, gasping, my hands on my chest. It was coming so fast, it seemed it had to lift up to avoid hitting us in our faces! And then it was over us. We spun around and rushed to the other side of the bridge to watch it fly away.
I’ve seen eagles before. There’s a nest in a semi-secret location not too far from here. But this—this sighting—this was breathtaking.
I love my country. I love my city where two rivers merge. I love my rivers. I love the Pacific coast. But I am so sad for you, America. I am so sad.
Have fun, but get some rest this holiday weekend. As they say on commercial airplanes, adjust your own oxygen mask before you attempt to help anyone else. Get ready. We’ve got a long walk ahead of us.
Photo by Elisa Stone on Unsplash