I'm flying to Phoenix today. My older daughter moved there about eleven months ago. I visited last June when the temperatures reached 118 degrees one day. I thought it was an absurd place for anyone to live. But I kept talking to people who wouldn't live anywhere else, who never imagined living anywhere else. "At least it's a dry heat," I heard over and over. This didn't make sense to me. Dry heat, wet heat, 118 degrees is dang hot. Give me 75-80 with marine air, thank you very much.
That's not my point, however.
I'm flying. E keeps telling me that she lives in a red state. My state, I have come to understand, is divided, by the Cascade Mountains into red (on the east) and blue (on the west). But when a person flies, those aren't the colors she sees. I have never seen republican or democrat states from the air. Sure, because I'm educated, I can make guesses about where the divisions lie. There's a big city--blue. There's a whole lot of farm land--red. But I can't see those colors from 30,000 feet. As a matter of fact, there aren't even state borders. It's all one solid land mass. Mountains, trees, deserts, lakes, rivers, farm lands, small town, big cities, houses out by themselves. Every type of terrain imaginable practically. We're a big ol' diverse country from the air. And we all blur from one thing to the next to the next with no discernible lines.
I'm NOT a true historian. I admit that straight out. But I like to read, and I read a whole lot. And this is what I glean about what we were intended to be. UNITED. Divided into states, yes, with power given to states. But this ridiculous division of parties where the sole purpose of one is to defeat and combat every single thing the other does? This is not what the founders imagined. They thought we'd work together for the good of each other. They thought we'd be collegial. The slow disintegration of that working-together is frustrating to every one of us, (red or blue). It damages us.
Do we toss out every person in congress? Do we simply start over?
I don't have an answer.
I just know that we can't go on this way.
But I'll be thinking about it as I fly over our United States today.
Watching the terrain, thinking of how beautiful it really is (when I get past the rain up here in the PNW).
And because I pray, I'll be praying. Always.