Election Day is coming right up on us. I think most people will agree that this has been the most stressful election season, maybe in all of history. There are those who insist that Donald Trump could not possibly get elected. There are those who predict riots or worse if he isn't, and others who are sure that if he is a loser, his supporters will turn their backs on him, letting him fade into obscurity. I don't know what to think. I have been baffled by this whole fiasco. On one hand, I think it's good that all the racism, homophobia and misogyny is now out in the open, but it is also very frightening to see it rearing its ugly head. I think the most frightening thing for me has been the unexpected support for Trump among women. It's hard to believe how much Hillary Clinton is hated. And why? She is no worse than many other male politicians, and they are not hated with the same passion. When George W. Bush and his cronies stole the election in 2000, there was an outcry, but not the hate that we see toward Hillary today. And the e-mail scandal ... What about George Bush, Rick Perry and Colin Powell? They all did the same or similar thing. George Bush decided what e-mails to turn over, as did Hillary Clinton, and they were all wrong, but the men didn't get the vilification directed toward them that she has. But most people, even women, don't question this because misogyny is so ingrained in our lives. She made a big mistake. Was she wrong? Yes. Did she acknowledge that wrong? Yes. Will she make other mistakes? Yes, she will. Is that a deal breaker? No. We are all human, and those of us in power are expected to be perfect. But if you are a man, you get a free pass. She does not get that free pass. This may haunt her forever. That is a crime in itself. Let's start looking at holding everyone up to the same standards regardless of their sex, religion or race.
I was, and still am, a staunch Bernie Sanders supporter. I was bitterly disappointed that he didn't win the presidential nomination and stated numerous times that I would not vote for someone merely because she is a woman. However, in light of the rampant sexism that has been allowed to run unchecked throughout this election, I think it's important to speak out loud and clear. As much as I dislike many of her policies, Hillary Clinton has earned this honor, and I will vote for her. I will vote for her in spite of her being a politician in every sense of the word; I will vote for her because she has had to scramble her way uphill in a male dominated world; and I will vote for her in hope that, once in power, she may realize that politics doesn't have to be masculine, that women have a responsibility to feminize this dirty job and that she will be in a position to start that upward trend. And even if she doesn't live up to my hopes, she will pave the way for future generations of women to make real change in the world.
Bernie Sanders will still be in the midst of everything, fighting our important battles as he has always done, and holding Hillary to her promises. He understands what is at stake here and has thrown his support behind the candidate that has the most to offer us at this time for continuing change. Even if I like the alternative candidates, I have to recognize that they are newcomers in a very corrupt system and do not have a chance of winning. If they did win, they lack the experience that would enable them to work with the other corrupt politicians in office. Bernie, and Hillary, worked their way up from the bottom, and that's what it takes. People need to see what you've done, or even if they don't like what you've done, they get to see that you did something meaningful on the large scale of national or world politics.
Please go out and vote in this historic election. I will be voting for progressive candidates who will promote Bernie's good work and ideals. I will vote for representatives who will hold Hillary's feet to the fire and who will give us hope in the possibly dark days ahead. After much reflection, maybe more than in any other election, I will vote my conscience. I hope you will, too.
I think that autumn is my favorite time of year. It is certainly rivaled by spring, but for me, spring is the beginning of a hectic, busy time of gardening and other outdoor activities. Autumn, on the other hand, is a time for settling in for a partial and much needed hibernation. It's the time to put the gardens to bed and to reorganize my indoor space to accommodate more time spent writing, crafting and creating music. The summer is always a whirlwind of activity with music festivals, parties and lots of yard work. I love that too, but by the time fall comes around, I'm ready for a change. And ... I haven't even mentioned the gorgeous sights and weather that comes with this season. I always feel rejuvenated by the cooler air and amazing colors in the countryside.
Today, it's very windy, which I always find energizing. The trees, out here in the country, have been changing, and we're surrounded by a sea of mostly yellow in and around our yard. My drive to and from work is breathtaking, and I was recently shown a beautiful view just a short walk from our house with an array of colors on the hillside. After writing this, I will go outside, breath the cool air, re-pot and bring in some of my plants that have been enjoying living outside this summer. I'll pick some of my scarlet runner beans to dry for next year's seeds and harvest the last of our green tomatoes before the first frost. Then, I'll go for my daily walk. Later tonight, I'll probably sit by the warmth of the wood stove and read or write in my journal and ready myself for the start of another work week. This life is good.
I have always loved every season, and that love of the seasonal changes is one of the things that brought me back to the east coast after living in California and then Oregon - both equally beautiful in their own right. I've been thinking a lot lately about how I ended up living in upstate New York, not a place I ever would have imagined becoming my home. But now, I can't imagine myself living anywhere else.