Summer thoughts in the city
June is in the rear view mirror and already I worry that if I blink July will be gone as well. We commence with our annual binging of "The Civil War," that old Ken Burns documentary that reminds us there has always been moral divide in America. I shouldn't be surprised that the Confederate flag continues to fly in so many places. We even see it in Minnesota, which is a reflection of the waver's values and a warning to me that we likely don't agree.
Global warming, children in cages, an administration bloated with corruption: the signs that our country has lost its place as a world leader cause me to wonder if we ever actually were. There is a saying that we should never meet the celebrities we admire because we will always be disappointed. In the past two years I have become far too acquainted with a nation I once admired.
It is all too easy to feel hopeless.
I heard a guy from England say that Americans grow up to believe they can do or become anything they want. That is the one thing that makes us unique among nations. Whether that belief is good or bad, it is none the less part of the American Dream. We are raised to believe we can make a difference in the world, but how many of us actually achieve that dream? And when we do achieve it, are our actions making the world a better place for everyone?
Rather than wring our hands muttering, "But what can I do?" we do what we can to make our little piece of the world a little bit better. T is creating a pollinator garden, gradually replacing our grassy lawn with plants that help heal the earth. We shop as local as we can, especially when it comes to our meals, reaching for chemical-free, organic, humanely-raised stuff. We support for politicians and businesses who promise to fight the good fight. None of it is enough, and every day we look for new opportunities to make a difference.
July rolls in, the future beckons. Each bee I see flying into our garden gives me a little bit of hope, while Ted makes plans for hanging the bee house and decides which plants will provide the best environment for the animals and insects that live in our neighborhood. We write letters to the people in power who can hopefully confront the bigger challenges that keep me awake at night. And we try to keep alive the dream of what America could be. She was never "Great" but she meant well.
"The future will not belong to those who sit on the sidelines. The future will not belong to the cynics. The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams." Paul Wellstone