My Best Self

Fall is my time for reflection.  The soup is on the stove, I am wearing my hoodie, jeans and warm socks.  Time to reflect.

I grew up in the 60’s & early 70’s.  Political activism was the norm, and the activists won.  Civil Rights laws were enacted, women were fighting for equality. They began winning greater freedoms: equal pay, no fault divorce, the ERA-which was never ratified, but the fights were on, and rights were being won.  Minorities won greater freedoms, and I thought everything was ‘hunky dory’.  I love living in Montana, but it’s isolated from some realities.  I live in a liberal city, and live a quiet life.  So…I have been very unaware.

Things happened to people I love. I learned more about LGBTQ rights.  I have begun to realize that many of us thought the battles were won, and we could rest on our laurels.  Then came the 2016 election.

The results of that election woke me up.  At 61, I started to awaken a radical self.  I am liberal-if liberal means loving and caring for all people and animals.  (though mice, rats, mosquitoes, bed bugs, wood ticks and their ilk are exceptions to those rules) I believe in equal treatment for all.  I believe we have an obligation to care for each other, and that much that is happening today does not live up to that obligation.

I realize that most situations are complicated.  Face it-humans are complicated and since most situations include humans, complications are implicit.

So, activism awakened.  The fight is on-going.  I have signed petitions, knitted pussy hats, written letters to state legislators, my governor, my Senators and Representative.  I have written to Senators and Representatives from other states.

I have Facebooked, Tweeted, emailed.  I am not fighting in quite the same way I might have at 20 or 25, but I am fighting.  I also work a job that does not have much time off, and as a swing shift my evenings are spent at work. I do what I can.

Fall brings me time to reflect. Am I doing enough? Can I do more? How? What?

I am coming to realize, also, how much I love my state.  This summer’s fires were different to me than previous summers of fire.  Was it that it is so much longer? Was it that I talked to evacuees and firefighters at the motels? Was it just my age.  It hurt to see people being evacuated from their homes.  Many of us up here do not have a disposable income, so disasters-like fire-are especially disastrous.  The fact that so much could happen here, and the rest of the world seemed to care so little was sad, it was depressing, it was also enlightening.  The rest of the ‘world’ that cared so little was not individual people.  Oklahoma sent hay for the cattle in the Lodgepole complex fire.  Firefighters and support people came from all over the country.  Courtenay DeHay, a newscaster, broadcast about the fires when no one else did.  We used social media to get the word out.

This had been another rambling post.  I am good at those.  I am thinking about life, and reviewing my life.  It is good to do that.

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