(top image treats from Scratch Baking Co; lower image my friend Jess' table)
I slept soundly last night. When the sun rose, I discovered the blanket of gray covering the sky had been replaced by white pillowy clouds against an optic blue background. The sun shone with surprising warmth for this point in November, sparkling on every surface it lit upon. Our cats had a day of luxury, parking themselves, stretched out, on the sun-warmed rugs and furniture, basking in the beams. Out the window, Elliott Bay glittered.
We discussed the election on the drive to school; the national and local results, the percentages, the implications. Cal asked the question of the week, “What is the electoral college?” Abbott articulately explained it at length. Cal shrugged and said, “I don’t get it,” and began reading his new Lego club magazine.
I voted in my first presidential election twenty four years ago, as a freshman in college. I still remember that gray November day and the sense of purpose I felt. Yesterday was the seventh time I’ve cast a vote for a presidential candidate.
Yesterday morning, I helped out at school with the Second Grade Market. Every year the second graders host a market for their parents and fellow students, consisting of produce (donated by Full Circle Farm) and crafts (made by the second graders), modeled after the Pike Place Market. They learn many things in the process. This morning I told Alexi how impressed I was at seeing the full-grown fennel, parsnips and celeriac for sale; when we visited the farm last month they were the size of my thumb. I love these reminders that there is still mystery in the world: a vegetable produced from a seed; the way children grow; the democratic process. There is the science and the predictions and then there is the end result, which nobody can entirely foresee.
I believe, as Barbara Kingsolver once wrote, that “wars and elections are both too big and too small to matter in the long run. The daily work – that goes on, it adds up. It goes into the ground, into crops, into children's bellies and their bright eyes. Good things don't get lost.” As we adjust to the change in the light and prepare to enter the days of holiday and ritual, we will all continue to do our best in big and small ways. Just as today, Alexi coached; I planned a menu for a meal I’m going to make tomorrow for a teacher with a newborn baby; Abbott helped me load the car without being asked; Cal worked at being part of a team at hockey practice. We do the best we can.