Saturday, September 11, 2010

This Land Is Your Land

Today I had the honor of canvassing in the rain to protect our Great Lakes Water Basin.

It was a beautiful day.

I'm so grateful to live in a democracy.

But it only works when we work it.

On Sept. 11, 2001 I was reporting about the local shock-wave effect of the terrorist attacks. I watched the second tower fall with a classroom of sixth graders at Erickson Elementary School in Ypsilanti. Some of the kids had cousins who lived in New York City.

I felt so glad to be a part of a newspaper community then. When I went home that evening to my flat on Woodland Drive in Ann Arbor, I parked on the street as usual and nodded in commiserative sadness at Mrs. Baxter who was on the front lawn with her dog. She and the dog are prominant characters in the first few pages of her husband's book Feast Of Love which in September 2001 had recently been nominated for a National Book Award.

The newspaper is gone. I don't live in my cool flat on Woodland Drive anymore. The Baxters moved to Minnesota.

Everything's changed, it seems.

But today I felt exactly where I needed to be -- climbing front steps, knocking on doors, talking to people about how they can contribute to bipartisan political change.

It felt good. People were so welcoming and responsive. I didn't have an umbrella and my hair was pretty wet. I didn't care. They didn't, either. It was a warm rain. I felt charged. They gave generously.

As I finished my day I realized I'd thrown a faded red jacket over my navy and white cotton dress. So I really was all red, white and blue today.

I like that.

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