As Soon as You Can

When the fireworks lit the night sky, I missed you beside me.
When the conversation flowed today,
around topics that remain just out of my reach,
I thought first and only of you.
When the fireflies danced around me, I wanted you to see it too.
When I think about the future, it’s your advice I need.
When I turn the key, it’s your voice I want to hear, calling out.
When I shop for groceries, mop the floor, and put together furniture,
it’s you I wish to be near by.
As soon as you can.
I’d like you to get here as soon as you can.
~ Elaina M. Avalos

We Will Be Stronger

I started out last week wanting to share a few posts about where I’m at in the novel writing process, a quick sample of my “work in progress,” and a post about some wellness related stuff. But then Wednesday, January 6th happened and I didn’t feel much like saying anything at all.

I don’t have the words to fully express my feelings about what happened at the Capitol on Wednesday. I have lots and lots of feelings and thoughts, but none of them feel quite right to express in this space. And as a result, I didn’t want to post anything here.

I’m trying to get back to a more normal schedule this week. It’s my first full week back at work since mid-December and while the country has a long road ahead, I am using a few more filters {watching less news}, to try and calm some of the anxiety that Wednesday’s events brought up, for me.

I will say this. I lived in the D.C. area a couple of times in my life {and would love to move back one day}, as a much younger woman. The first time, I was the personal employee for a political appointee {she worked at The White House}. The second time, I worked for a human rights agency. As a history & political nerd, who is also ridiculously patriotic, there’s really no better place to live. Northern Virginia and the Capitol are filled with our history, of course.

But, it’s also a beautiful city with a phenomenal park system, trails, fun activities, festivals, markets, and awesome restaurants. I did and experienced things there that will stay with me forever. I don’t like a lot of things happening in my country, but I love it nonetheless. And I love the actual, physical place that holds so many of the symbols of our unique democracy.

It was painful to watch what happened on January 6th, 2021. I hated watching these symbols of our freedom in that condition and the safety of public servants on the line, by my fellow Americans. But even more than that, I was deeply saddened that a road I worried we were on – was ending where I had most feared. It has given me a lot to think & pray about.

I will sign off for now – with one last thought. Quite honestly, the United States works because dissent and disagreement are cornerstones of our system. In years past, we see this when we elect a President from one party and a Congress of the other party. We as the public tend to not want all of one party in charge for too long. This back and forth happens often. Additionally, we have a “balance” of the three branches of government, for a reason. The sadness I’ve felt this week is not about conflict. We have been in conflict as long as we’ve been a country. It’s part of what makes our system work. What I am sad about, however, is that the very principles we were founded on were clearly and horribly trampled on. They were sickly encouraged, given a voice, and evil had its day – parading as patriotism.

The former governor of California, Arnold Schwarzenegger, spoke to the public very eloquently today about the Night of Broken Glass in Austria and called the 6th, the U.S. version of “Day of the Broken Glass. His words were moving and eloquent – particularly when he talked about how swords are formed. He’s right of course – “the more it’s tempered, the stronger it becomes.” We have a lot of work to do. But on the other side, we will be stronger.