To the man who yelled at me to "go home" on my commute this morning (I still have my CA plates, although I'm an OR native): I'm sorry for the frustration you must feel at the rising cost of living in Portland, I feel it too. I'm sorry I flipped you off after yelling back that "I'm from here;" - I went low to meet you, instead of 'going high'. I experienced a mere fraction of the pain, anger, and fear of what it must feel like to be someone who hears those words in the media, or on the street, on an on-going basis, and ever louder now that we've been given permission to be so ugly to one another. To anyone who has ever been told to "Go home" or that you don't belong here, I'm so very sorry. Humanity should be better than this. I've been processing this fear (for fear was the first feeling to hit me, perhaps after a split second of disbelief) and trying to keep it in perspective... but the fires of enmity and hate burn ever closer on the horizon, and I am scared.
I spent the rest of my morning, after wiping away the ugly cry, making Advent Wreaths with 2nd graders. Each candle represents a particular aspect of this winter holiday of Expectation: Hope, Love, Peace & Joy. Those words have become my mantra for the day: Hope. Love. Peace. Joy. Whatever we can to bring that in during these dark days. I have no lesson here, no moral, just sorrow, and the dedication to do whatever I can, day to day, to increase Hope, Love, Peace & Joy in the face of fear, pain, anguish and hatred.