When anyone on the Long Trail asked me where I was heading last summer, I always said, “Canada.”
One man replied, “Before the election?”
This was in late August. I’d been on the trail for two weeks, and I’d forgotten about the election.
At Sterling Lake, we spoke with some Canadians out for a day-hike who said, “If the worst happens, you could always come to Canada.”
I thanked them for the invitation and thought no more about it.
We reached the US-Canadian border on Thursday, September eighth, as planned. After taking photos at Marker 592 in the noontime sun, we retreated to the shady woods and headed off the trail, back to our lives.
Jan flew back to Alaska, and I returned to my homestead in southern Vermont, where I voted yesterday, and woke up to mist and rain this morning, and the challenging task of consoling my children.
I’m not a Pollyanna. This isn’t the outcome I voted for, but I’m reassured that the election was so close, meaning I’m in good company. And while there may be easy comfort gained by harsh language, I don’t want to slide into the muck of hate speech that has sullied this election. I don’t want to sink into despair or retribution, either. I want to be better than those who now hold the responsibility for our nation’s – and the world’s – welfare.
Nor do I want to flee to Canada.
No, my place is here, in Vermont, where I’m free to work with words, telling stories that advance issues to create change.
Please join me in peace.
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