I liken these last few weeks of the election and election night to a group of people standing on the roof of a high-rise skyscraper, looking at a watermelon perched on the edge of the railing.
The inevitable temptation arises to push the watermelon over the side to see what happens. It's an almost irresistible urge, in fact, even though we logically know that anyone who happens to be underneath as much as a penny thrown from an 80-story building can die, due to the velocity a falling object picks up on its descent back to earth.
But because we've never seen a watermelon fall 80 stories to the ground before, it promises to be a good show, filled with excitement, fear, exuberance or maybe horror. Maybe all those things at once. And so on Tuesday night, we pushed that watermelon off its perch on the railing of the skyscraper, and now we're committed to seeing it plunge towards...whatever happens when a watermelon collides with a planet. It might be interesting and educational. People might be harmed. Or not. No one really knows.
But the collective "we" wanted to see what would happen, and so now the watermelon is in flight -- or free fall -- depending on your perspective.
This is why I write a blog dedicated to homesteading and living locally. It's because of falling-watermelon times such as these.
So what can you do while the cucurbit is airborne? Plant your garden. Make some soap. Focus on your local government and hang out with like-minded friends.
Protesting the watermelon-pushing is futile. So is hating the people who pushed it. They had their reasons, I suppose, some noble, some silly and self-serving, just like anything else.
If you're having trouble with the national elections results, my advice is to unplug from things at the national level and prepare for change by seeing to the things you can control at the local one. You can't always control your garden or home but you can focus on them, as areas you have the ultimate decision-making power in. Set a gopher trap or destroy the burrow? Castile or shea butter soap? The choice is yours and only yours in matters such as these.
Focus on the things that will not change as a result of what happened this week. Since those are the only things you can truly manage as one individual, in many ways they're the only things that really matter. Focus on that scrap of earth you call your own, and those people and animals you share space with. Be astonished at their beauty, be dismayed at Mother Nature's fickle nature, and be humbled that you are the steward, if not the actual landlord, of the ground you call home. But see it directly, not through the filter of the media or the internet. Focus on those things you can see with your own eyes, in a one-to-one relationship.
The seeds will sprout, new animals will be born in spring, the rains will fall and the sun will rise at its appointed time no matter who is sitting in the Big Chair in Washington DC. And that can certainly be a comfort if you're willing to live in your own actual, local reality and not the national one.
Tune out the whooshing background noise of the watermelon in flight for the sounds of birdsong, the neighbor's lawnmower, or even the local blues band. The good news -- and the bad -- is that the watermelon is now in flight and there's not much any of us regular folks can do about it except the same things we've always done...plant our gardens, make our soap, and try and be as self-sufficient as possible. Not trivial things by any measure.