Saturday, November 08, 2008

mistemper'd weapons

Now and then I hear a story about someone who, when told he has six months to live, goes out and does something prosaic -- like roofing his house.

I have less than six months to live -- in my house in Salem. But you would think I was siege-proofing the place.

I have never been much of a gardener. When I took possession of the property, it had a well-planned rock garden that would start blooming in January and end in November with waves of color.

It took very little maintenance. And that was convenient because I had little interest in investing my time in flowers -- especially when everything seemed to be taking care of itself.

Well, this is life. Nothing takes care of itself. Nature has its eventual way. I first noticed that the California poppies had disappeared. Then whole areas stopped blooming. If I had paid attention, I would have noticed that the cotoneaster had spread from a small ground cover to a tangled thicket. As a result, most of the smaller plants had died from lack of sunlight.

Now that I have decided to put my house in the hands of a sitter, I could simply ignore the jungle on E Street. That is not going to happen. Seeing a challenge, I need to intervene with my surge forces.

I have managed to clear out most of the ground portion of the cotoneaster. I am now ready to go in search of bedding plants.

As I was finishing up my trimming, a friend showed up. We started chatting. First, he laughed that this was the first time he had seen me working in the rock garden. He then asked what I felt about the election. He was elated. A life-long Democrat, he had been a big supporter of Gore and Kerry. But, like so many, his support for Obama was ecstatic.

He then surprised me when he said he was a little disgusted with his fellow Democrats for their continued attacks on "Sarah." I wasn't sure who he meant, and then I realized he was defending Governor Palin. He said he had just heard Barney Frank say that she was more tolerant of him than he is of her.

As he talked, I realized he was making the same argument that Peggy Noonan made before the election and has made after the election. We need to start treating one another civilly. As a nation, we voted for a candidate who offered hope and change. We now need to start behaving toward one another in that same fashion.

I have every hope that we can. If we can get the thickets of cotoneaster out of the way, we can get to work on the bedding plants.

Will we have common goals? Certainly. Will we disagree on how to get there? You betcha. But we can do it all realizing that we are one nation. And with God's forbearance, we may even do it as if we were cousins -- instead of the Montagues and Capulets.


aighmeigh said...

if i had my own house, i'm pretty sure i'd be doing exactly what you are. instead, i'm shopping. even though i know i can still treat myself to little luxuries here and there once i move, i don't care... i need yet another purse before i go!!!

it's crazy! i'm just going with it... whatever. the whole move is rather stressful so i guess i'd rather shop than start smoking again! ;)

Steve Cotton said...

Aighmeigh -- I have heard tales of was refugees stopping to dust just before fleeing in front of approaching armies. Maybe we are just reluctant to turn loose, at times. I thought I had no emotional attachment to the house. I must be wrong. We tend to react to change differently. My advice to you is to do what makes you happy now. And the economy could certainly use your conrtibution.