Election Day.

On this election day, I hang out the laundry in a bitter wind, sharply turned from the weekend’s balminess. Pinning up t-shirts and dresses, I think of Henry David Thoreau’s famous words:

“Take long walks in stormy weather or through deep snows in the fields and woods, if you would keep your spirits up. Deal with brute nature. Be cold and hungry and weary.” 

I read in Walden in high school and took that copy with me when I moved to Vermont. I simply never returned it, and imagined Thoreau wouldn’t have been particularly opposed to my theft. On this windy day, the laundry won’t need long to dry, which is perhaps just as well as the dark moves in now by suppertime. Last night, in the passenger seat of my daughter’s car, the early night pressed around us — enchanting or foreboding? I could have leaned either way. As I pin up the last of the kitchen towels, I keep thinking of the line There will be no catharsis. These words came in a conversation about a recent death in our town. How much we all seem to long for a revelation, the loaves and fishes thing, the who’s in the know and has the real scoop about the true and genuine causes of this or that unhappiness. History, of course, prevails upon all of us, pushing down our small lives, our dear dramas.

Like Thoreau, I am a New Englander, and November leans in with her force.We all might be the wiser for being out in her wind today.

4 thoughts on “Election Day.

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