The front that pushed through last night brought wind and rain. Thankfully, it blew out humid air that was making September feel like summer again.
This was a perfect morning to go for a run. The temperature was 59 degrees, clear blue sky, and the earth still damp from the overnight rain.
But, I was disgusted with myself.
It was taking me too long to get ready. The route I had been taking recently would put me on Westham Parkway heading north. Getting this late start meant more traffic to face. Yes, this was true, but I needed the run—my brain was swirling.
On the still damp road surface, some early fallen leaves had temporarily attached themselves. Some spots looked like they had been splotched down with glue from first graders.
Other spots along the way were crunchy with acorns. Those uncrushed, rain dampened acorns were as slick and slippery as an American politician.
I didn’t watch the first presidential debate on Tuesday evening. I sensed it would be ugly. The headlines I skimmed this morning confirmed the unpleasant event. And I think this is very sad.
An uncivil event like that doesn’t give me hope. I don’t know about you, but America needs a good dose of hope.
I keep thinking about my parents and their families during World War II. They made sacrifices for four long years. As Americans, it seems we are lost when it comes to understanding and applying sacrifice today. I think selfishness plays a role in that mentality.
Recently, I read Erik Larson’s book The Splendid and The Vile. Larson looks in depth at Winston Churchill, his family, and his leadership during the bombing blitz by Germany of England.
In those horrible circumstances, somehow, Churchill found the words to help the people of England to tough it out and hang on. Even when, the bombing was at its worst, they held fast.
I am certain that October, November, and December are going to be a challenge, and I pray that as a country we too can hang on.
As my old body rambles slowly through the neighborhood, I look for signs of hope.
I see new life—recent spreading of grass seeds are now sprouting as sprigs of green spire upward from spiked holes made by an aerator.
I marvel at the paths of the sunlight as it cuts angles through trees and between houses to cast the birth of a new day.
A rising sun peeking through trees photo by Bill Pike
And over on a quiet, straight stretch of Rock Creek Road, I admire the energy of a young girl who is sprinting down the old road without a worry in front of her mother.
On the weekend of November 30, 1940, Churchill’s first grandson was christened, and it was also the Prime Minister’s birthday.
Toasts were made in honor of the grandson and Churchill. Something about the words spoken in the toasts touched Churchill, and he wept.
The author states that a call went out for Churchill to reply to the toasts.
Larson wrote these words: He stood. As he spoke, his voice shook and tears streamed. “In these days,” Churchill said, “I often think of Our Lord.” At that point, Churchill sat down, he could say no more.
In these days in America, I hope we are often thinking of Our Lord.