When we finally turned off the news feeds and went to sleep on Monday night, the race was too close to call. My spirit was unsettled. Nerves pulsed through me like the moments before walking onto the school stage in seventh grade when I gave a speech in front of community judges about Beethoven.
I've never involved myself in politics. Not to this extent. And I've certainly never really cared what happened in countries beyond mine—yet things were different this time. This time I knew in my core, no matter the outcome, it would punch me somehow.
During the early pre-dawn hours of November 9, while darkness pretended to wrap this side of the world in a lullaby, dreams rocked me until I was standing in a field. It was that magic hour when evening light shoots across the wheat in such a way it turns to gold and as I walked through it, I saw a woman standing in the distance—alone, arms resting at her side, fingers brushing the tips of the wheat. A heaviness rooted in my stomach at the sight of her, at the sadness in her face and the loneliness in her posture. I knew if I could extend one bit of grace to her, I would find a way to do it.
I approached and as I drew near I realized it was Hillary Clinton. She watched me come, shaking her head slightly as if to say, 'I'm strong, leave me be'. But I ignored her and continued until I could gaze directly into her wet eyes. I wrapped my arms around her and it felt, for a moment, like I was hugging the world. And then my mother appeared beside us and said in her gentle way, "It's all going to be all right."
I woke then, shaken, and grabbed my phone from the dresser beside me, flipping to Twitter, where of course, I learned the news with immediacy.
I couldn't sleep after that. And when dawn finally broke and I met the children in the kitchen, I asked them, "Do you know?"
They all did. We've been talking about it a lot.
"I feel sick," I said.
"I just don't know..."
But I do know. I know that I'm terrified by what this means for the whole world. What does it say that one of the major world powers allows an arrogant bully blow fish to be its leader?
What does it mean?
I cried on the way to work. I was listening to interviews on the CBC and I'd watched a video about a mob burning the American flag before I left and I was just shattered. My heart broke for America and my heart broke for us, and as I crested the hill into Allan Park a rainbow appeared to my right and that made me cry even harder.
I was a wreck. I drove an extra loop around town to gather myself.
Then, of course, the day continued in such a way: an hourly succession of more bad things. I got some different hard news that rocked me, I learned about the personal tragedy of a close friend, the marriage of another friend is dissolving, our Passat is officially headed to the wreckers...
The sky is falling and there isn't enough chocolate in the world.
I left work early because I was exhausted by trying not to cry. When I got home I snuck into my room, crawled in my bed, and tried to keep it together.
When my husband found me he asked, "Did you have a good day?"
"The world is falling apart."
And then I told him everything, wiping tears while he lay beside me and when I finished he called in the children and they piled on me with hugs and giggles and I remembered that the sun rises every day.
This is not a political post. I'm not looking to start a conversation about who you support and why. I want to talk about how we move forward. How can we plant a seed of hope after this volatile season? How do we spread the message of love? How do we swallow our judgements and trust—really trust—that something bigger is at play and that good will ultimately prevail?
I don't know. I do know that when I woke today, I wasn't quite so shattered. I am still sad. I am still suspended in this strange bubble of mourning I'm struggling to put words to and yet, as I sat on the porch step with my mug of tea, watching the last leaves falling and the blue sky behind I remembered that rainbow and the abundance of beauty that exists around us every single day and I know, somehow, just like my wise mother said, it's all going to be all right...