A few days before the election, I find myself homesick. The home where my parents remain in the dust mots that float in the light from the window. Where I’ll find my 3-speed Schwinn bicycle is ready to ride. Where the last fall leaves have blown from the large elms leaving a bare-branched canopy overhead.
The election on Tuesday has me remembering years of watching the 4th of July Fireworks at Northwestern’s Dyke Stadium. Years of sitting on the curb waving an American flag as the parade passed by.
I think of the boys in their blue letter jackets with leather sleeves and orange letters sown upon them. (The school colors.) I remember the ugly gym suit I wore to play field hockey and took home on Friday to wash. There was the thrill of dancing cheek to cheek in the high school gym to a slow song. I have friends that are apart of my life today, whose parents I remember. How surprised we are to find ourselves looking as they once did.
I am seeking the comfort of others of a certain age who also rode their bikes around town, and nobody worried. I need the company of those taught right from wrong. Those who stand for the American flag, and put their hand over their hearts when saying the Pledge of Allegiance. The election has caused this flush of nostalgia about growing up in mid-America.
My reading life has taught me that we survive elections. Great men step forward to save us from ourselves. Yet, this year my eyes fill with tears when I listen to those who want to turn America into the countries their families fled. I grieve when I see thugs on the street looting and tearing down our statues, disgracing the America that has raised them at her knee.
We believe in Rocky Mount. Nothing is going to take that away from us. Not the outcome of this election, nor the virus, nor knaves amongst us. I am homesick for the things I’ve mentioned that were a firm foundation to build a life upon; patriotism, honor, and respect. I wish you would sit with me on a Main Street bench. Tell me about those you danced cheek to cheek with. Tell me about your 4th of July celebrations. This will help me to the other side of this homesickness. Thank You!