I’ll admit it: today was a rough day. I am disheartened and discouraged by the confirmation of Betsy DeVos to lead the charge for public education in the United States, and am silenced by the confusion I feel when trying to understand those who support her.
So, to distract myself – because I have to remember that it’s ok to be distracted – I just spent some time going through pictures on my computer, remembering the wide range of things in this country that bring me joy. I thought I’d share a few, in case you’re struggling in the same way I am today.
If, unlike me, you’re happy about today’s confirmation, well – perhaps you’ll look at these pictures, enjoy this blog, and at least acknowledge that its writer is a public school kid, through and through, who believes that access to a good, free, and fair education is a cornerstone of our democracy.
Onwards and upwards, I suppose. And for now, just for a few minutes, a look backwards, at some of the moments of my life, like that time when…
…I ate an amazing, simple meal on a farm in Maine:
…I spent an unexpectedly delightful day and night in Rhode Island, with the sister of a friend who I hadn’t really known until then:
…I discovered that there is such a magic as Fried Avocado Tacos, in Austin:
…I marveled at the sky in Virginia,
And at the late-summer light in Maryland,
And at a rainbow in Delaware, while my Tator Tot smiled along:
…I walked across a bridge and realized how dense the green can become in Minnesota in July:
…my friend sent me a picture of her cat in a bathtub in Pennsylvania:
…North Carolina showed me how beautiful its beaches can be:
…the morning, summer sun in Baltimore burst into my heart, and stayed there:
…I fell in love with an Alaskan winter,
And the sunrises in Utah:
…Seattle unfolded before me in unmistakable charms:
…all across the country, so much more:
By the time I finished strolling through my pictures, I’d come to remember how much I love my country. But the point, actually, is that I had never really forgotten; that’s why I am convinced that we are, as a nation, better than what we’re seeing with the confirmation of Cabinet members who are woefully unqualified.
I find myself, as I search for a way to close this post, deep in thought about the places I’ve been and the people I’ve met while traveling throughout this country. I have been fortunate to do so. And though these are pictures of places, I know it’s the people who make my life what it is, and what it has been, and what it will be.
On a day when it is hard to be optimistic, I find in their faces the joy that encourages me, still.