Like most people, I am joyful to see October and autumn arrive. This is my birthday month and it has always been special to me. When I had harsh hay fever in younger years, it always started on Labor Day weekend. By October I could see the end coming with a possible frost ahead! One good thing about being older and having worn out some of the allergies is that I can breathe in October! Already a few trees are turning in their tops. Pumpkins are popping up everywhere. Mums are bursting out in fall colors.
Still I felt some heaviness this week. I dreaded something, but it was unnamed, vague. A life that feels filled with busyness and issues took its toll. Then Wednesday the Ozark Writers League exploded. Email after email of resignations, lamentations, accusations. Though I was not directly involved in any way, I suffered seeing this group of 35 years shatter apart. It seemed symptomatic of the life these days.
Thursday the exercise group was nearly empty as so many people were away facing many issues or on trips. The few that remained had horror stories from the weekend about their experiences with rude, ignorant, angry, or self-righteous people. That afternoon the book club was also attended by only half the group. Again several stories of illnesses or bad experiences or life hassles in general. Then we learned of the Oregon shooting
No one seems to know what is going on or how to fix the parts of our country that are broken. Teachers face parents that want their kids excused from assuming responsibilities or facing consequences. Churches are deep in hypocrisy. The mentally ill are turned loose on communities because it is more important to fund football stadiums than mental health centers. Crowds are following men smart about one subject or another and assume they are leaders for our country. Worse yet they follow bigots like little piggies doing jigs all the way home. Civility? Whoops, it doesn’t exist anymore. Instead people practice being angry, defensive, and ready to puff out their chests with some imagined indignation.
Tonight on the news I heard people were paying it forward with coffees…smiling more…trying to be aware and be helpful to others in light of what they saw in Oregon….and many other places in these United States. That is good but why does it take a massacre to move them first? Why do F-5 tornados, killer hurricanes, kidnapped children, or earthquakes wake up our humanity? Shouldn’t we practice being the best humans possible every day…not Muslim humans, White humans, Republican humans, immigrant humans, rich humans, beautiful humans….but just good humans?
For over five years I have managed not to rant on this page. Tonight I broke my record I am sad to say. But I just can’t seem to find any sense in things these days…everything is warped or twisted. I will keep trying though. My recently deceased friend advised me often to be a believer, to be hopeful.
Said she, “If there is horse poop in the front yard, there MUST be a pony somewhere close by!”