Falling Leaves and First Ladies

Tuesday was the longest day. I don’t think many of us knew what to do with ourselves. Of course, some people were simply standing in lines to vote. Unbelievable images when you take into consideration that we are not a new democracy, and when you appreciate all our advanced technology. Still, people stood patiently in lines long past polling hours.

When I was at home in the day, I made calls. When I was out, I went for long walks amongst the trees. The sun was out and I took that as a sign. And I needed the air. Finally, I settled into raking leaves around my house. Bright yellows, golds, red and orange leaves that were lovely and falling at the same rate I could gather them. Nevertheless, it seemed important that I try to make things tidy. It was an impossibly long day, waiting for the results to roll in. And when I was done raking, I did it again.

Keep America Beautiful came to mind, the nonprofit organization Lady Bird Johnson embraced. I have heard that before her campaign, it was quite common for Americans to throw trash out their car windows. Our highways were littered, and in the course of inspiring people to clean up the trash she went a step further and proposed roadside wildflowers, a program that would sustain itself. (And the idea being that people would be less inclined to litter when the landscape was lovely). Lady Bird worked tirelessly to restore natural beauty to America’s public spaces. This was before we even had the word for environmentalism, but she understood it. She knew the impact it would have on the quality of our lives and communities.

While twice filling the yard waste bin it occurred to me that Lady Bird may be one of our most underappreciated First Ladies. I was also thinking it may be safe to come in now. It was dark and in the street lights the leaves in trees looked like blossoms. Another sign?

I’d enough air, I could breathe. I can make it.

And indeed, it’s over. The center is holding and we were not derailed. We can all go forward with what we do in this beautiful country of ours.

Now, where was I?


Filed under election

3 responses to “Falling Leaves and First Ladies

  1. We spent the day driving home after a long Western road trip. One of our first stops was in the Redwoods, where there is a grove of giant trees named for Lady Bird Johnson. We don’t have cathedrals like Chartres, but thanks to visionaries like Lady Bird, we have beautiful places that are protected forever.

  2. Elizabeth Yourgrau

    Yes, yesterday feels like a memory. Today, felt new and although it snowed and was cold, I sang in the sunshine. Oh happy day!

  3. equalitylurkswithwords

    Yours is a day easy to picture. I share a deep love of nature and the beauty it bestows to us. You painted a beautiful picture of what so much of our country is – beautiful, ah yes, America The Beautiful. Thanks for sharing.

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