“Burn down your cities and leave our farms, and your cities will spring up again as if by magic; but destroy our farms and the grass will grow in the streets of every city in the country.” William Jennings Bryan

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

March 30, 2010


It’s raining again. How could I tell…?

One day, a few days ago, out in the stable, three chickens were facing one chicken – or one chicken was facing three. I could not tell if it was three against one or one against three. I could not tell if three were picking on one, or if one was picking on three. Sometimes we can never tell which side is really fighting. Sometimes we cannot tell why.

These nine years are way too long.

At Quaker meeting a few weeks ago, Karen suggested we concentrate our lives for the week upon a word, and then asked each of us to tell others our word. I don’t remember everyone’s words, yet I remember that Mrs. Harris’s word was “endurance”, and since I did not have one for myself, she picked “health” for me as I was not feeling too well that day. But Jill picked “perfect”, which I did not understand, so I asked her. She said something that went like this: “Perfect! ‘Cause I am perfect just the way I am, and you are perfect just the way you are. No one has to be anything more that what they already are to be perfect…everyone is perfect the way they are.” I spent the week thinking about that. I still am. I like it.

Healthcare passed last week. Obama is called a socialist. Palin is stumping her way along the tea party circuit. People are threatening congress persons. States are going to sue the government. Obama is supposed to be a non citizen. Glenn Beck is making millions.

Our Quaker meeting has been helping area homeless families who have jobs. One woman, who has a ten year old, has two jobs. She wakes seven days a week at 3:00 am and delivers news papers with her child asleep in the back seat, as there is no child care at that time in the morning. After the newspapers are delivered, she drops her child off at school and works her second job – as a home health care aid, caring for others. She and her child both arrive back at the church shelter at 7:00pm. They do this routine seven days a week. Think about it. Two jobs, 70 or more hours spent working each week, and she cannot afford a one bed room apartment. Two jobs, 70 or more hours spent working a week and she is homeless. Forget health benefits.

In our area, there is no affordable housing. Every proposal has been petitioned and voted against. No one wants affordable housing in their backyard. Affordable housing will reduce property values they say. The residents of our area write letters to the editor against affordable housing. The council meetings are covered by reporters. “Not in my backyard!” they say. The next day, they read about their successful efforts to turn back affordable housing in the newspaper. The newspaper is delivered to their front door every day, seven days a week, while they and their kids are soundly asleep in beds. Later in the day, a woman comes to the door to care for Gramma.

Just outside my door, the fields are being sown with rain.

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