Yesterday began with a trip to the polls to vote. Voting has become something I do with my beloved and it feels so very special to stand with her in line, to be welcomed by the poll workers as a couple, to enjoy the everday ordinary privileges together – like voting. Proudly wearing my “I voted” sticker, the day held special promise.
But almost as quickly it turned as I sat down at my desk and opened a rejection letter. It wasn’t unanticipated and not entirely unwelcome, but the sting was just as real. I had made a last minute application and received a hasty interview for a teaching position in a district on the other side of the river (literal and metaphoric). The interview had been educational but definitely not an affirmation and I knew that the position and I were not well suited. Still, I wanted both the affirmation of the offer and the quick ticket out of my current life. Instead I had the sting of rejection.
The day was particularly gray, with wetness that landed like rain but carried the hint of winter snow. With the sun determinedly hidden behind a veil of clouds, I plowed through paperwork, bible study with my elders, and a weekly hospice visit with a carrot before me. Lunch, and an early one at that, with a friend. Lunch and friend too rarely co-exist in my vocabulary. To be sure I have many faux-friends, professional-friends, and even a couple of real church friends. I have folk with whom I hang in meetings and structured contexts. But friends that are apart from responsibilities or roles, who simply exist in my life for the sake of friendship, this has been a missing piece and one that is at the heart of this moment of transition in my life. Admittedly, I approach lunch with a friend with a bit of uncertainty and self-deprecating humor. No matter. The time shared was so very precious. A safe space to name the journey that is mine, to hear that of another, to wonder aloud together about the meaning of life and to enjoy good food. It was the perfect antedote to the rejection, a righting of the order and balance.
Sot it was in this place of equilibrium that I moved into the darkening gray of afternoon and evening for the sun remained resolute. Reaching for new routines of simplicity, I walked to the kitchen and pulled down the pot rather than picking up car keys and heading for a diner. A yummy meal together at our kitchen counter is the life that beckons. And it is very good. Together we adjourned to our basement family room to watch the returns, cuddled on the couch. Nothing could be sweeter.
Except it was. Cuddled together with cats dancing in and around us, the results began to trickle in, steadily supporting the polling numbers. Watching Rachel Maddow take her seat at the desk, in command and interpreting the results, we witnessed history. President Obama was re-elected not as the first Black president but as the one whose path we choose to follow. And more: Elizabeth Warren toppled Scott Brown in Massachusetts and brings to the Senate the intelligence of a Harvard scholar with the heart of a woman and the deep passion of an unapologetic voice for people. And even more: marriage equality wins in Maryland and Maine and appears to have also won in Minnesota and Washington (still too close to call). As we made our way toward bed, a new day had dawned. And a beautiful day it is.
No doubt there will be difficult days ahead with the sun in recalcitrant hiding. But I suspect that most days are like this one with real bits of sadness woven into tapestries that have rich textures, occasional strands that may be unwelcome, patterns that are comforting when learned and, if we are very lucky, a few breath taking highlights.