Though the light of summer is waning, my garden continues to produce amazing zinnias. In early June, I strewed hundreds of seeds because I knew from gardens past how hardy the resulting plants are, quick germinators that would paint my garden in fiesta colors. The giant patch of zinnias leans sunward.
There is sense in that: they lean toward what helps them grow. And though I don’t see the roots, I know they, too, stretch toward sustenance and water. There is so much sense in nature.
Then I leave the garden.
And I read too much news, and become perplexed, distraught, stymied, disheartened, nervous, afraid, anxious, befuddled, heartsick, soulsick, headsick, distressed, troubled, worried, bewildered, confused, discouraged, dismayed, dispirited, baffled, flummoxed, confused, mystified, confounded, disturbed, upset, uneasy, frightened, apprehensive, fretful and sad.
Not all the time, because… zinnias. And love. And hope and cats and chocolate and solidarity and sometimes justice and often challenge and all that nature. It’s close.
But as fall nears, I see so many around me leaning away from our better natures. Leaning toward spite. And hate. Toward smoke and mirrors, toward fear and loathing, judgment, prejudice, toward bashing, boasting, bungling and bluster. Toward conspiracy and dark secrets. Toward belief over fact, toward accusation and misunderstanding, toward yes, those –phobias, toward anger and something insular that I don’t quite grasp.
There is no way to process the intolerant and intolerable speech, the rants, the avalanche of incendiary scree from the man, without some degree of anguish. I try to understand that followers (some of them close to me) lean toward what might seem like light to them, promises of something new and different in our government. I despair because they cannot see, or do not care, that the promises they would link our collective fortunes with, are linked with dark and devious rhetoric.
And that wall would block my light.
More important than ever to make sure there is plenty of light to be had. To plant seeds of clarity and truth, zinnias and marigolds, lupines and cosmos.
“Doesn’t everyone like flowers?” — Pollyanna
(For a dose of hope in the midst of despair, see John Lewis’ “March.” If HE can hold on to hope, we can — though not sure yet what I am hoping for. Working on that.)