I suspect many of you breathed a giant sigh of relief this past weekend, finally taking your pads off after what felt like the most consequential election of our lives (so far). A friend of mine said it best- "Last week was the longest year of my life." Preach.
But now it's done, and whether your guy won or lost, if you're reading this, you're still here. You made it to November 4. Congrats.
Right now, I've just finished a meeting about the next iteration of our recycled backpacks and I'm waiting for Raashi to finish up with work. When she does we'll walk over to pick up our daughter from day care. We'll talk about our days, and we'll begin to make our plans for the weekend. Tonight, she'll tell me what time we're going to go hang out with dear friends of ours, the Goodmans, for a socially distant hang. The Goodmans recently had a baby boy named Michael.
Well done, Michael. You made it to November 4 too:)
In Haiti, the people we serve lived through a fire in the landfill not too long ago. Nobody was hurt, but a bunch of people lost what little savings they had. When you pick up waste for a living, it can take decades to accumulate enough cash to keep a house with a roof and a couple of pigs. It can take decades to have what we could create in a weekend.
Nevertheless, our friends in Haiti, they made it to November 4, too.
There is no easy way to put it. This year has been crappy, and the election didn't really change that. Regardless of who's in charge or about to be in charge or pretending to be in charge, so many of us are still trying to hold onto our jobs and not to get sick. We're out in the wilderness a bit, and we're fighting to keep alive this little campfire (garbage fire? dumpster fire?) that is 2020. It's cold and windy and rainy, and it's clear that this little thing just wants nothing more than to go out. Some of us are frantically gathering wood, some are placing the wood near the flames to try and keep it dry, some are blowing on the coals to try and get it going. Some of us are actively throwing water on the thing in an effort to ensure we all freeze to death:) The rest of us are huddled together in the smoke, protecting the little flame the best we can from the wind and the rain. In so many moments, it's looked like it might go out, and I'd be lying if I said there weren't days when I almost wish it did.
Except, we all know what the warmth and light of a good fire can do for the bodies and souls of folks who are wet, hungry, and tired. Many of us have sat around a fire on a summer evening and told stories about our past, shared a meal, maybe even fallen in love. I have had days where a fire was the difference between the opportunity for a $1MM and going home. In the old days, a fire was everything, and keeping it going meant making it through the winter. We all know deep inside that a good fire is alive, and when protected and shared with others, it can serve a larger purpose than a collection sticks and flames. It can fill our bodies and hearts with hope, and it can bring people together.
But only if we keep it going. Together.
The election is over. We all made it to November 4. For a day or two, enjoy the warmth and the light of the fire you've worked so hard to keep going this year. Well done us. Well done you:)
Then, let's pick ourselves and start looking to the future. We've got work to do.