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The woods

Rambling in my thoughts is a lot like my rambling in the woods. A friend of mine might smile if they saw this, because I am easily distracted by minutia when rambling (in thoughts or reality) or as we all jokingly say “squirrel!”

This week’s events made me think of many things:

  • When my parents got married, they had to drive from Virginia up to New Jersey to do it. It was illegal for a white woman to marry a malaysian-filipino man back then – no mixing of the races. That has obviously changed in my lifetime.
  • As a child, on summer road trips with my Mother visiting “her people” in the South, I still had to use the colored rest rooms in some places and we often got our food to go to avoid having to risk any bad feelings or worse. That changed in my lifetime.
  • While I was in high school, women were still unable to get their own credit cards. That changed and when I was 19 I had a department store credit card…something my mother could not do until then even though for most of my years growing up, she worked full time. That changed in my lifetime.
  • I remember thinking how brave Geraldine Ferraro was, running for VP with Mondale as President on the Democratic Ticket. They didn’t win then. But that has changed in my lifetime.
  • I remember people wondering if we would ever have an African American President. That changed in my lifetime.

At no time in our US history has there been a true ‘peace’. Instead our country has uneasy respites between tumultuous conflicts resulting in propelling us forward, change always comes at the price of great strife. And yet the changes I have seen, have been worth it.

Do I wish we could evolve and move forward without the contention, conflict, and strife? Of course I do. Any sane human being would prefer that things move forward in a peaceful fashion. But that is not the human way of doing things.

We have not yet learned how to be peaceful and to grow. Growing and evolving is often violent, a struggle. In walking through the woods, I am reminded that the reason the butterfly must struggle to near exhaustion upon emerging from the cocoon, is so their heart can be sure to pump the life into their wings that they may fly. If something external seeks to help them, their wings do not get the workout needed, the blood does not pump as furiously and they are unable to fly, and they die. Nature is violent. And it is peaceful. The dichotomy is worth many more hours of contemplation than I can give. But I say again, I would not give up the strides we have made as a people, as a country. Even when I know the price has been high.

Thanks for rambling with me – hope to see you again sometime soon.

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