Positive peaceful actions as we approach the holidays
The coyote is there hiding in the tall brown grass.
It was his movements earlier that caught my eye giving him away. His jaunty stride a bit of bounce crossing the field. I walked to the corner of my yard. We were feet apart. Some cultures label coyote a trickster, an enigma, both a trickster and a teacher, a wise sage whose message comes indirectly. He does not notice me he is so intent on looking for field mice, fat voles. I call out, “Hey! What are you doing?”
The animal immediately dropped to the ground, becoming invisible. I strain to see him. His gray brown fur blending with the standing dry grass. I saw where he dropped, but I don’t see him. I stand for minutes looking. The coyote, the trickster vanished.
As I thought had the racism, prejudices, misogyny I had read about in American history when I was a young girl. I thought we had grown, become better people. But our fears have been hiding in the weeds. Not always noticeable, until now, encouraged to be on the move, out in the open. We all see it.
Last month I wrote lightly about our Valley to practice gratitude for where I live. Appreciating the ability to think, do and say what I like. Keeping in mind all people have heart. I wrote that column purposely peacefully because I was so incensed by Judge Kavanagh’s childish attacks toward the Senate Judiciary Committee and then his confirmation that if I had pricked my soul with my pen then, there would have been blood everywhere. So I decided to stay calm.
And I did something. I thought about the foxy forces in corners of our public media and expressed by our president, Congress and local representatives trying to divide us. Trying to provoke us in negative ways. Make us angry. Play up fears instead of positive solutions. And it is not fake news, which by the way people are being killed for, conjuring up quotes to broadcast. Our president tweets heinous things himself. There is something in his rhetoric making us feel hopeless, afraid, angry, confused. Making us easier to control.
So the coyote came to my yard. Watched his antics. Wonder what he had to say. Wondered about our severe polarization, this Us vs. Them mentality. Why fan the flames of fear? Fifth generation immigrants angry at incoming immigrants. The wealthy fearing the impoverished. The have-nots angry at limited choices. White people fearing losing power to nonwhites. People of color literally fearing for their lives. Political differences ridiculed. The healthy against insuring the chronically ill. We have got to stop this. We have the power to address this, admit it, call it out, change it.
Celebrating Thanksgiving let’s work toward something better than intolerance. Diminish fear. Make positive peaceful actions. That hidden coyote is there, moving about. But we are a nation of many, able to do great things in the open this month, and in two years. And every day. We are our government, our community. It is not Us vs. Them, it is ‘We the People in order to form a more perfect union…,’ and for that I’m thankful.
Marie Johnson is a Carson Valley rancher