You may have seen in my instagram feed that a Robin made her nest in our backyard. I've been carefully photographing the nest from the day it was completed. Four beautiful blue eggs appeared one day and when my daughter saw the photograph she grabbed my phone and raced for the house to show everyone, "she did it! Mama Robin really did it!" The most recent time I photographed them, the nest was barely visible, those four babies were getting fat and full of feathers. I sensed they'd fly away soon. I posted a collage of four images: the empty nest, the eggs, the blind and naked cluster of babies, and the fat crowd of them. It reminded me of all the graduations coming up.
Last night my husband wakened me to tell me he had some bad news. He heard awful noises coming from the backyard, and then no sound. Concerned for the baby birds, he went out to the backyard to find an empty nest, and nearby an adult Robin and one baby were dead. I was so sad, it felt so defeating. Honestly, my first thought was "first Trump, now this". I didn't cry, I just lay in bed, numb, until I eventually fell asleep. We didn't tell the kids. We did hug eachother during the day, just mumbling, "the robins..."
I had a similar time going to sleep after 45 was elected. I went to sleep numb, after much crying and yelling in panic about what was going to happen next, how would we tell the kids, and lots of shame at the state of the country. I didn't vote for Trump to be President. He is now the President. I didn't vote for the Robins family to be killed, probably eaten by a raccoon. I did not want these things to happen. I still don't want what is reality, that the 45th President is who it is and that the Robin family is not here anymore. I don't see myself coming to love it, and in time I'll accept it. There's really no rush, reality is not waiting for me. It has moved on and I'll catch up in time.
I watched a video of Byron Katie facilitating a worksheet on Trump, "I'm Afraid of Trump" What I took away from it was the awareness that what I want is, again, fighting reality and that is the origin of this pain. Holding on tight to what I wanted to happen is painful and demands great amounts of energy. Accepting what is widens the view so that I can see what's available. The bush where the Robins lived was right next to our garbage cans, a place I'm sure neighborhood raccoons frequent. We had talked about cutting it down and waited when we saw the nest appear. I think I'll cut it down now. I can't prevent nature from doing what nature does, I'm not in control, so I can participate. The Reverend Dr. William Barber reminded me this week that the election was no fluke, that 45 is a symptom of a greater problem. Now is the time to participate in my community and share the load of looking plainly at long-held stories that have caused us individual and collective pain. The pain is in wanting what I can't control. The freedom is in accepting what is.