Today is November 14, and I considered mowing the lawn–it needs it. My vegetable garden is still producing peppers, and my zinnias are still blooming. This is Central Illinois! The trees are so confused that some are still green, some are bright colors, and some have shed their leaves. Some are doing all three at once. I’ve felt like that myself–not quite sure what stage of life I’m in. Having one of those landmark birthdays last month didn’t help.
When I was young and single, the priority was the present. Stage 1. When our children were young, caring for them was our highest priority and obedience to God, and that present priority had great impact on the future. Stage 2. Then they grew up and I went into Stage 3–work, study, earn a doctorate, retire, write articles and books.
And now there’s a new stage that wasn’t expected and I’m as disoriented as the trees. One son was diagnosed with a chronic illness and is moving his family near us. One son-in-law was brutally assaulted in a park, is still recovering, and that family has also moved near us. Instead of seeing our grandchildren a few times a year, I see them most days. I’m prioritizing the present to build the future. There is little time for writing.
But through the awful election campaign that just ended, I wrote on Facebook. It was my small way of trying to use WRITING as a tool for truth, integrity, and civility. When I posted a plea for fairness and critics castigated me for supporting one candidate, it gave me great pleasure to let them know that I wasn’t supporting either candidate, but was simply making a plea for truthful, fair, balanced information–opinions based on facts instead of innuendos. Civility instead of crassness. I think that’s a valid role for a writer–my one small step for mankind at any season of the year, or of my life. And now, I need to go prepare a meal. Our daughter is very ill and her four children are at my house for the day.