Column
October 12, 2016

Autumn transitions and transformation

Autumn transitions and transformation

By Marguerite Jill Dye

Aren’t we blessed to be in Vermont, witnessing the beautiful sights of fall? Multi-hued leaves glow against a backdrop of pine. Since our executive chef son Danny and our toddler grandson Silas visited us Columbus Day weekend, our hike up Killington brought to mind the colors of vegetables and spices: paprika, chili, annatto, parsley, cilantro, turmeric, ginger, curry; kale and broccolini, celery and beets, red leaf lettuce, squash—zucchini, butternut, crookneck, kabocha, acorn, spaghetti, delicata—pumpkin, and corn. When Danny comes we dine like kings on tantalizing flavors of global cuisine.
Perhaps some nutrients that color our foods exist in leaves, transforming them too. Their beauty, ablaze, lasts only until rain and wind cause them to fall. Transition brings change, transformation, and growth; it can also cause stress, grief, and loss.
Having little Silas here made us especially mindful of the choice we’re about to make and its far-reaching ramifications. We’ve already seen how its ripples cause fear and concern among friend and foe across “the pond” and beyond.
I believe in the goodness of humankind and how love and compassion can overcome challenges and troubles that plague our world. But we now face a real and present danger, a negative power that spews hatred and greed. Like attracts like and this is our challenge: will we choose energy that’s negative or positive?
There is no doubt that negative force has gained strength through Trump. When anger, resentment, hatred, and greed shoot forth from his mouth without responsibility for the far-reaching effects they have, then negativity spreads like disease. It’s contagious and dangerous; it wipes away hope. It causes depression and angst in folks. Once spewed, this force has a form of its own. It lowers humanity and causes great storms.
I’m not a physicist but I am empathetic and intuitive. I can sense how one man’s negative energy can destroy and transform. We’ve seen this phenomenon in history before but are blinded by his audacity, not understanding his harm.
My husband’s uncle was a grand dragon in North Carolina’s KKK, but my in-laws took a stand against prejudice and hate and banned him from entering their home. They understood the power of negative energy and chose love and compassion instead. Their son learned to reach out and demonstrate those traits through a path of public service, also inspired by JFK’s call: “Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country.”
One of our candidates heeded this call and the needs of the poor and powerless, having learned firsthand of her mother’s struggle to survive childhood abandonment, neglect, and abuse. Her mother taught her to be strong and defend herself. Her military father taught her to take criticism like a man.
I appreciate how Hillary Clinton puts her faith into action as taught by our common Methodist religion. She studied law then used it for good, defending the rights of children and families for nearly half a century. As a woman in a man’s world, she overcame fear and learned to stand her ground. Such traits of strength don’t come across as soft and sweet. Hillary Clinton quotes Eleanor Roosevelt, who advised women in politics or public service “to grow skin like a rhinoceros.”
Clinton has fought for positive change affecting people’s lives all of her life. I attended the U.N. Conference on Women in Beijing in 1995 and heard victims of war crimes, sex trafficking, and all forms of abuse speak. Hillary’s response? “Women’s rights are human rights, and human rights are women’s rights.” Then she proceeded to address, educate, and help change laws on a global scale.
Our modern day Joan of Arc is the sole Republican or Democrat to survive Trump’s attacks, manipulation, and multiple forms of abuse (including lying, denial, blame-shifting, moving the goalposts, bait and switch, projecting, generalizing and exaggerating, yelling and shouting over, fearmongering, and body-shaming).
Tough times require tough people, but also the ability to act with love and compassion. I trust Hillary Clinton with the future of our grandson, nation, and world.

Photo By Ayham Jabr
“Along for the Dream”montage by Syrian artist Ayham Jabr represents a choice for our future: will we go over the edge of the earth or calmly paddle to solid ground?

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