I thought to write about seeds
It is almost March, and I am looking forward to breaking out the seed packets as I do every year at this time, laying the tiny promises in sowing medium, and giving them enough air and light and sweet words and water to germinate.
The responsibilities and rewards of gardening are great, and they tie me into the ancient tradition of planting, caring, reaping. It feels good.
This season, I don’t know if this act of great hope will help me through the months remaining in the election cycle. I am tired of it already. The Republican banner has been appropriated by he-who-shall-not-be-named (a man who, as far as I can tell, stands only for himself – When asked what he thought of an opponent’s chances for the presidency, he responded that “He seems like a nice guy. He’s been nice to me so far.”) He cares only about not being a “loser.” It is not clear what he will do for the country other than “make it great again” and “build the wall.” His see-saw, non-specific, fluttering claims resonate with people who are tired, too. People don’t have to think too much to understand him – they get to project their own ideas on his shape-changing words and they hear things they like. They like that he is “different” and “not Washington-as-usual” yet don’t seem to recall that it is their own elected Congress that carries the weight of what does and doesn’t happen in Washington on our behalf.
I thought I was going to write about gardening. And here I rant… about how he should have been stopped long ago if the party he’s running with stood for anything at all decent. Or about how he has made it entertainment in the political sphere to call names and throw dirt and spread rumors – all things that were basic no-nos since the time we were six. He may never be President, but it’s out there as a possibility. And to get to that point where good citizens pull the levers to elect a President to represent our sea-to-shining-sea, we must wade through eight more months of this surprising Pied Piper dragging more and more fine people back down to kindergarten: where we hadn’t yet learned that we shouldn’t repeat the nasty and ill-tempoed words Jane said about Dick. Back to a time when we worried little, for a parent or two made us feel safe at night.
I can’t help thinking that the Republicans should not be the only ones up in arms about the man who stole their show. I think all decent citizens who see that he is bringing a bulldozer to the garden, should sow their own seeds of respect and humanity and inclusion and compassion wherever and whenever they have a chance. Won’t stop him in his tracks, won’t stop his supporters, but gosh those posies smell nice, and add sweet color meanwhile. I used to let comments about him from those around me just lie fallow. Turn away. Let the speaker just speak (after all, we are all entitled to our opinions) and not ruffle the daisies. Not now. I feel that I need to plant a seed of decency when needed. And maybe that nine-petal daisy will bloom. “He loves me, he loves me not. He loves me.”
As if it weren’t enough to roil over the tangle of weeds that has taken over that side of the race for the Presidency, the Democrats are happily mud-slinging. The result of so much finger-pointing has led to reasonable Democrats claiming “I won’t vote for XYZ even if s/he is the candidate.” WHAT? You will not care enough about the country to vote for what may be best for the majority? You would put it at risk of being represented by a schoolyard bully who raises his heel to stomp any who would call him out? We are braver than that. I voted my conscience when I was young. I voted for Ralph Nader once. Yeah. I did that. I get idealism. Older now, and still idealistic, I feel that citizens may need to take a broad view and realize they are just adding to the great divide if they stay solidly Hillary or solidly Bernie, refusing to vote at all if their candidate is not nominated. Partisan politics is like putting up the wall, even if it is in the same party.
Which candidate will beat “him?” I don’t know. How about the two Democrats join forces and just decide to run as a team – to save us from eight more months of their tearing each other down, and because it may take more than one good head to stare down that much ugly?
registered-independent, still-an-idealist and always-a-hopeful-gardener