Tuesday was my election day. My ballot arrived, and I eagerly tore into it and voted (all four pages of it!), then mailed it off.
Yea! Election season is over, the season of endlessly repeated, intentionally misleading political ads, the season of culturally sanctioned rudeness, deception, name-calling and general immaturity, the season of divisiveness and sadness, disrespect and ill-temper.
I immediately emailed our local news outlets and political campaign offices across the country and let them know they could stop running their ads, sending their flyers, programming their robo-calls, and go home and do something useful, like bake cookies with their kids or play fetch with their dogs, or thoughtfully review their behavior.
I anticipated gratitude.
But no. The bombardment continues.
Why?!? Do you not understand: the vote is in; the deed is done; it's over. I voted, for God's sake-- yes, I voted, for God's sake.
What? Others have yet to vote? Oh, I see. Of course.
I guess I was having a "political-candidate moment," you know, where I slip into the delusion that I'm the only one that matters, the only one whose voice deserves to be heard...
Bend they must-- bend or die-- beneath an unexpected and unreasonable burden of fall snow.
We are all caught off guard.
The pines know snow, deal with it winter long, are experts at yielding, bow to its capriciousness, slough snow off long needles.
But the deciduous trees are unprepared, still preening, showing off, their grand canopies of green now a liability. They shiver beneath this surprise attack, snow and ice in a colorful mid-October. Refusing to bend, they crack, bleed, fall.
I've been aware of God's presence in both dramatic settings and the mundane.
I knew God during Evensong at St. Martin's in the Field in London, where they invited the few of us attending to come sit in the choir stalls flanking the singers in the chancel-- candle light, heavenly voices, day fading through stained glass...
I knew God sitting in my first condo, early morning, coffee mug in hand, cat curled against my thigh, light snow falling beyond the windows. As the sky lightened, I looked out at the snow and realized a deep, satisfying and nearly unbearable peace--
and that peace was of God,
and I was immersed in God.
I recall thinking, "It can never be better than this."