There is a touch of fall in the morning. Not an enthusiastic arrival, but a little more subtle. Noticeable, like thinking you hear a familiar voice and turning to see. The morning breeze that flows through the patio at my favorite bistro this early morning is just cool enough to look up at the clouds and ask them when they might break long enough for the sun to offer her warm balance.
A few degrees are significant.
My old dog and best friend, Tybee, is in his twilight time. He has a host of things that ail him. His back legs fail daily and his dog version of COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) makes it a bit more of a chore to get a good breath. Cataracts lead to a navigation flaw now and then. But he is full of life. He has the spirit of puppy days.
As the sun rose this morning we stepped outside for our morning walk. They take longer than they used to. For most of his sweet life I was literally pulled the entire walk. Today it was a slow and quiet stroll. He stops to rest his legs and occasionally just lies down and lets me know he needs a moment. But this morning, as we stepped out onto the porch and prepared to negotiate the three brick steps to the sidewalk and the waiting common area, his snout tilted upward and he took a deep breath. He had a look of pleasant surprise. He sort of slid down the steps and almost bounced to the walkway. For the first time in months he trotted down the way, stopping to investigate now and then, trotting again. We crossed the avenue to the grassy hill. He collapsed (intentionally) and rolled and rolled and rolled on the dew dropped lawn. He smiled big (yes, dogs smile!). He rose and he attempted a bit of a jog. Then, his legs and lungs reminded him not to push it too much and he slowed to a happy lope.
A few degrees were the variable in play here today.
I thought of the last two weeks. A political smorgasbord. I watched and read and listened to the candidates and their cronies and the pundits and the critics and the passersby. I realize it was a platform fair of sorts. The convention always is. That’s okay with me.
What struck me was the sheer venom. Much more from one side. I don’t expect Kubaya and a group hug. The fact check sites were having a field day cutting through the spin of the angry right and the exaggerated claims of the idealist left. All in all, I heard what I expected to hear. As an American without a party that truly represents my complete set of values and and aspirations, I listened for solutions and vision. Getting there was not easy. The platform noise gets in the way of progress. I have my strong opinions on who can most capably lead this nation at this time. That is for another post. I have stronger opinions at the abysmal failure of Congress – the true barriers to any progress of any kind.
What gets me the most is chasm that separates our proxy members. Is it not possible to simply acknowledge that no party will adequately represent the people in their beautiful and rich diversity? Knowing that we vary in color, values, faith (or lack of it), cultural traditions, preferences and all manner of difference, it seems to me that some sense of community and respect might just be in order. God help us if one of these pissed of tea baggers talked about how we can support those with burdens without being labeled a socialist. I have a dream (humbly borrowing this section of the greatest speech ever delivered) of the hard left understanding that prosperity isn’t the enemy. Our problems are complicated and require something more that a gun, a poster, a tax, a reduction of tax, a policy, or a Super PAC.
The greatest tool and most underemployed tool we have is dialogue. Not talking points or platform rhetoric. A conversation. A conversation, lots of conversations about the challenges and the common solutions that are begging to be considered. They are out there.
Washington needs a touch of Fall to cool the emotions that don’t add value. It needs a breeze to fuel those that do.
A few degrees.
Off to pursue happiness. Another walk with the pup. He is surely saying, “God bless America…and Fall.”