There is a healing balm in spending time with the very young and the very old. The world has not yet touched the very young; the world has brought the patina of wisdom and strength to those who have seen and survived so much over a long life.
My granddaughter turned 2 last week. Her blue eyes sparkled while telling me she can make coffee and spaghetti for me now since she is so big. Santa brought her a little kitchen, and this spunky little girl stays very busy whipping up anything our hearts desire.
She advised with sincerity, “gotta blow on it cause it’s HOT!” as she handed an imaginary coffee to me, along with a little kiss on my cheek.
The day before, I had taken a pasta dish to my mom, and though she was reeling from the events taking place in the Capitol building, she still sees our citizenry as strong and wise.
As she handed me a steaming hot cup of coffee, she told me not to worry, saying that this, too, shall pass. I couldn’t help but smile as I stood between those generations so sweetly serving me a cup of joe. Mom didn’t wear a cute speckled chef’s hat, though, and there were no warnings of it being too hot for me to handle.
The resiliency of our democracy is strong and yet fragile. Many elections, too close for those whose candidate didn’t end up in the White House, have caused bitterness and anger over many years. In my lifetime, I’ve felt incensed as the electoral college made the final call, sometimes in spite of the majority vote saying otherwise. People applaud when their candidate is the one holding the highest numbers, and grumble when it goes the other way.
Regardless of disappointment or anger, elected officials and their young staffers should feel safe while carrying out their duties enacting the people’s decision. We watched as a peaceful protest turned riotous. Seeing an angry mob smash doors and windows, scale walls, crush police officers, loot and steal, shout orders to hang an elected official, all in the name of having their own way in a democratic society felt beyond belief.
I once toured the Capitol building while covering an agriculture delegation event. It is hallowed ground, and I felt the weight of all that built it. A friend who earned her place as a congressional page in the Capitol said the desk pushed up against doors to stop the rioters was one she once used.
As I wrapped a blanket around a sleepy baby girl who insists she is now big, I wished for the magical ability to keep her little, sheltered from the heat of hatred brewing in a cold world.
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