Dear President Trump,
It’s been raining non-stop all day so when I went out, I wasn’t especially enthusiastic about it. Fortunately I seemed to have pretty good timing and got to see some cool things. The first was on the way home from church when I got behind an Audi and noticed that the license plate said “ANOMIC.” I was pretty sure I knew what “anomic” means, but I looked it up when I got home since it’s such an odd word to choose for one’s license plate. The Dictionary.com definition is “a state or condition of individuals or society characterized by a breakdown or absence of social norms and values.” Wikipedia helpfully provides the definition of “anomie” on the same search page: “A condition in which society provides little moral guidance to individuals. It is the breakdown of social bonds between an individual and the community, an unruly scenario resulting in fragmentation of social identity and rejection of self-regulatory values.” I think it’s terrific that someone is calling out our devolution on their license plate in this way.
The next thing I saw was when I was taking one of our dogs for yet another walk (apparently it’s very difficult to do one’s business when it’s raining…..). We’d just crossed the street when a beat up silver Corolla went by with at least the driver smoking up a storm and a life-size plastic (I hope) skeleton in the back seat “looking” out the window. The interior of the car was completely filled with cigarette smoke as though the live occupants were trying to hurry themselves along to catch up with their backseat occupant. I don’t know if this qualifies as an “unruly scenario resulting in fragmentation of social identity and rejection of self-regulatory values,” but it seems like it.
The third, and final, thing I encountered is of an entirely different nature, but just as unexpected. Buddy the dog and I were in our final stretch. We were soaking wet, but he needed to stop for his 20th leg lift. I was feeling pretty dang impatient as I scanned the grass to make sure there was nothing untoward for him to snag when I spotted a tiny hummingbird nest. It was sopping wet and absolutely gorgeous. It’s made mostly of moss and mud with little bits of leaves and twigs and it’s so old that it’s adorned with lichen. I figured that the hummingbirds wouldn’t be able to use it since it fell out of the tree so I brought it home. It’s drying by the kitchen sink in a strainer.
May we be safe when the elements are challenging.
May we be willing to keep our eyes open.
May we take care of our social bonds and our lungs.
May we treasure the bits of grace and peace that come our way.