Tuesday, July 27, 2010

October.

Digging up old writing

Going this morning turned out to be a touching and unexpected experience. It sounded so simple in theory.

We packed sandwiches and a thermos, arrived before everyone else, huddled close together at 4 a.m. under the concrete awning of the high school and sipped on pumpkin-flavored coffee, watching the rain fall, alone.

Cheerful old women volunteering at the desks showed up within 30 minutes, spoke with us about trivial topics; almost an instinctive avoiding of the matter at hand. David carried heavy things from their cars. One lady, two feet shorter than him, huddled next to him so that she could hold her umbrella over his head as he walked. I watched him from under the awning, thermos in my hands for warmth, and thought over and over again, "That man is my husband. That man, there, with the rough beard and scarred hands, that man helping an old stranger, that is my husband."

We were the first in line to vote, eventually joined by a pile of frozen people, smothered together behind us as the sun broke.

Knowing the weight of my actions and the power of this day was at once an enormous knot in my throat and a burden lifted off of me. I was happy to be where I was, to fill in his name, to come home and watch the new shape of the country unfold as my nation and her citizens choose their leader.

Thrilled and concerned and alert and full of anticipation.

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