Yesterday morning I woke up and I was like What happened? Why does it feel like I'm five years old and it's Christmas? And then I remembered. The night before, Cary Moon came in second in the Seattle mayoral primary and I love her, and not just because the first Seattle female mayor in 91 years is going to be called "Mayor Moon", (happy dance!!) but because she has actual ideas for making things better, instead of just describing the problem. Gods, I am so tired of hearing the problem described in more and more shocking/witty/entertaining ways. I am not entertained by the problem. Cary Moon says "It's not OK to be socially liberal and fiscally conservative in this town anymore." She sees a way to not follow the path of San Francisco, and so many other cities that are so rich and so poor and drowning in the divide. She sees a way for Seattle to be a beacon of light when we need one in this country. And to reflect our goodness, because we are good.
I felt that way most of yesterday.
But today I feel so sad, and I don't know why. It might be because I had my parent date with my son last night. We went to our usual D&D game, but he didn't want to play, and I miss him because he's been at his dad's for a week and a half, and he's nine going on 16. So cool and aloof and grown up all of a sudden and how did this happen? I just feel loss. And there's the smoke: the sunset last night and sunrise this morning, tangerine in a violet halo, the air filled with ashes from the fires up North.
I am sad and I don't know why.
So, down by the creek this morning, I give myself time to feel what this is, and not know, and keep trying to feel it. The water in the pool below the waterfall is hazy also, maybe with ash or maybe with the pure excess that is pouring out of the Birch trees as their catkins open and release the seeds into the dying summer. Sometimes, It's so hard to not to know what is going to happen and keep trying. But they do.
Certain things help. Seeing each other helps. Yesterday afternoon I went to a peace circle that one of my clients was hosting, almost 40 people opening their hearts in order to be better to each other, even though it's so scary to feel. They said so, that it was scary, and then told their stories anyway and I was filled with this rising feeling of love and something like confidence, not in myself but in them.
We closed the circle by naming what gift we each bring, and I thought about mine: an open heart? Vulnerability? Storytelling? None of them seemed right and the talking piece was getting closer and closer and I didn’t want to think about what I was going to say, I wanted to listen. So I let it go, decided to let it just happen it and then the green, heart-shaped rock was in my hand I said that my gift is that I believe things will get better. I believe, even when it seems so impossible, the challenge so daunting.
And I do, even now, here, where the smoke clouds the water. I'm crying and I'm not sure why, and my heart feels like it's breaking and I'm not sure why, and the magnificent catastrophe burns on the news. Somehow I know that the same cycle that is taking my son slowly away from me and into the orbit of his own life, it also brings the moon full every month and lifts the seeds from the birches every July and calls us to risk caring for each other. It is in us, this preference for life. And I am still sad and I still don’t know why but the weight of it is easier to carry and I rise and walk up the creek bank.