Five years later and I just remembered ham loaf.
Ham loaf and Amish children selling strawberries at my door. Corn directly from the field and into my arms. Peaches and apples that dropped onto our lawn and the juices that ran down our kid’s faces.
Lancaster County to Chicago has always felt like a move from one from world to another. But these days, I’m aware of this more than ever.
I watch as the school my kids used to attend prepares to begin the school year in person, 5 days a week, masks strongly encouraged. We’ve adjusted to remote education here for the year to come. If you come even close our school, you better be wearing a mask. Not a suggestion.
We left the home that we loved on the East Coast knowing that the losses would be huge. Dear friends, lots of space, a house we loved, family close by, and fresh food so easy to access. (JUST TO NAME A FEW)
We embraced a new home hoping for less of a negative impact upon the earth, a life more inclusive for our children and a community that would align with our personal and political beliefs. (JUST TO NAME A FEW)
When Trump was elected in 2016 our children were absolutely shocked. We had never seen ONE sign in our area that showed support for his presidency. It wasn’t until the morning after the election that I realized we were living in a new bubble.
A welcome walk with my neighbor this afternoon lead to much discussion about how our country is living in so many different worlds. After living in Detroit, MI, Jackson, MS, Lancaster, PA, and now Chicago, IL- I feel like I have experienced several of them in person.
Pro Life to my conservative Christian friends means no abortions. Pro Life to my other friends means health care for all, the dismantling of white supremacy, and mask wearing in a pandemic.
I have no desire to bridge these divides, I don’t think bridges and hand holding are the answer. But I do think a love for humanity over a love for beliefs is the first place to start.
Instead of worrying about your rights to wear a mask, maybe think about how mask wearing will show love and protection to others?
Instead of worrying who the person you are serving sleeps with, maybe extend them freedom and the peace to be who they are?
Instead of demanding that your child stay ahead of other children, maybe think about the parents who don’t sleep at night because of the stress to keep their whole family safe?
There are no perfect answers right now, just ways to love your neighbor. I hope that you can empathize and open your arms. Love and justice aren’t just ways of thinking, they are ways we can live every day.
I no longer look to religion to give me answers, but I do see the humans around me and the LOVE we all desire. Let that true LOVE be your decision maker- and maybe when this is all over you could get out of your bubble? I wouldn’t leave the place where we live now but I’m so glad I’ve been able to live so many other places first. If you can’t do that, find ways to get out of your comfort zone.
Bubbles are for gum.