It’s sunny and hot on my head, back, and legs. I’m laying on the ground, face down, aware I’ve left my sweater on. My dog is a Northern type and shedding profusely, but he still wants to lie right by me. I put my blanket down on the grass and he plopped down. Now he’s happily panting and half-sleeping.
In the background, my kids are sharing and therefore tussling a little over their Pokémon cards. Occasionally, the sound of a handful of tears and stomping off floats my way on the warm air. We’re pre-teening here. It’s different and new and tender and tenuous.
My husband is playing his guitar on the porch. I’m listening to it all, and feeling selfishly protective of this time I’ve stolen away to write. We’re heading to our friends’ in a bit, and we had breakfast with another family beloved to us this morning.
I woke up with something on my mind. My small rural town has forgotten that being conservative doesn’t mean being judgmental and dismissive of the concerns of people bearing the mantle of discrimination. It’s funny, because the two–conservative values and judgment, are separate. They’ve interwoven.
And when I say it’s funny, I mean it’s not funny at all. How can the many beautiful things that comprise home occur within a community that idly bolsters hate, by refusing to look at the implications of its throat clearing and awkward avoidance? The tension is arduous, and though I live in the midst of abundant beauty, watching the dominant culture gobble up anything in its way is wearying.
Until it’s inspiring. That’s the wheel we live on–inspired, wearied, repeat. So, in turns, we all must continue to push against the gobblers. Once they know, they’ll be so happy to have a different option. I’ve lived in other places. Opening our minds is not as painful as it seems. One push past our own smallness can bring the greatest sigh of relief.