This morning my daughter wanted me to make her an owl. I cut out the body and two wings, setting them on the paper tucked up against the paper body. Immediately she took them and set them outwards and said, “No, she is flying mom.”
I fell asleep late last night and like so many of us woke in the early hours of the morning to the shock of a reality I did not believe would or could happen. I rose with a pit in my stomach. I woke with deep disappointment in the state I grew up in, the Mormon state, the one who could have proved to me that they value my body, my voice, my daughter, over possible economic advantage, but they did not.
I also woke to something I did not entirely expect, as I read through my emails, texts and social media, I found words that did not spell defeat. I saw words about love over hate, about bravery and action. I read the words of friends who, although heartbroken, did not miss a beat in going to one another to ask, what now? What do we do? We will do it. If no one else will usher in our voices, we will do it ourselves.
I am positive my words will garner unkindness here in the comments, but can I ask today that you please don’t? So much of our religion resides in the idea that we care for each other, that we mourn with each other even when we don’t understand the source of that mourning. Let me be clear, as a woman, as a mormon, as a mother, today I mourn. I expect that whatever our political views are, we are capable as a people of attempting to understand that. If not, what good is our religion doing us?
This morning I am short on words as I process what these next four years mean for me, my daughter, my son, my Muslim friends, the classroom of hispanic children I teach, my friends who belong to the LGBT community, the #blacklivesmatter movement. I look ahead and feel a lot of fear and sadness, but also, when I take a moment to readjust my wings, to listen deeply to the parts of my heart that are broken, I hear clearly my daughter saying, “No, we are flying, mom.” We can be the ones to make things better.