Dear ReadersI’m writing this post in the early afternoon of election day.  I don’t know what is ahead for us.  I have had the idea for this column in my head since last week and debated with myself as to when I would actually write and publish.  Should I have written it earlier and posted it a few days ago? Should I wait to write it after all votes are counted? Or should I write it now and get it out very soon…before I know anything?  Well, I’ve waited till now to put words to paper…hopefully tonight will give us hope!

What matters most is how well you walk through the fire.  John Bukowski

I read Bukowski’s collection of poems long ago – sometime when I was a young mother. I had an English professor in college who loved the “Beat Generation” and Burkowski fell into this category, though a bit later. Then, this past week, I saw a political ad (imagine!) in which it was quoted.  And though likely written way back in the ‘70s, the meaning of his words loudly reverberates today as we are all being asked to walk through some kind of fire. There are some fires that are unique and personal – fires we must navigate alone. Others fires rage without discrimination… touching all of us and everything in their paths.  Today, we walk, together, through this type of inferno.

It is times like these that remind me of all I take for granted. Clean water, hot baths, 3 healthy meals each day, warm and comfortable homes, excellent schools to educate our children, and freedoms the likes of which many world populations can only imagine. Over the past few years, for the first time in my lifetime, I feel my way of life is being threatened. We are being asked to walk through fires that, left unchecked, will consume much of what comprises our “normal” way of life.

In my mind, this is not politics and I have tried very hard, since the beginning of this blog, to avoid turning this space into a partisan rant. But today, this is for my family – my children, my grandchildren and their children. I want them to know the security that I have always felt. I want their days to be free of dissent, anger, insecurity. I want them to always know that no matter who occupies the White House, their best interests are what is primary in all decision making.

I pray this is not too much to ask today. I pray that as I look back on how we, collectively, walked through this fire, we will be proud of how well we did. We will have learned, we will feel stronger – more united than before, and we will never again take all that we have been given for granted.

Let us, together, always and ever, pay attention…and mind these precious lives.