Hanging on


When you get into a tight place and everything goes against you, till it seems as though you could not hang on a minute longer, never give up then, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn.” Harriet Beecher Stowe

Everybody I know is just hanging by their fingernails right now. Covid numbers continue to explode, and in this conservative Valley, you are likely to encounter your fellow citizens without a mask if you go anywhere. Not that we go anywhere, but people send me photos. Adding a dose of misery to life, our septic system backed up for three days and we suffered way out of proportion to the problem. That’s another sign of just hanging on–any problem can send you over the edge. For serious problems, I have family members in Colorado with Covid, and my immunocompromised brother in Hawaii just tested positive. A dear friend flew to Chicago to be with her mother who is receiving end of life care. I can barely keep up with the emails from friends, as we weep and gnash about this presidency and his administration, and chew our fingernails in fear of the election results next week, lose sleep over its aftermath, watch in horror to learn another Black man has been shot by the police. This is a “tight place” we are in.

You can tell from my photo that the cold front did hit us. Our temperatures went down into the single digits and the lingering beautiful red and golden leaves flash-froze on the trees. Compared to most of Montana, we had only four or five inches of snow, but ice has coated our stone steps for days. Everybody has railed against this early blast of winter, in times that are already hard. There’s light drizzle dripping on us today, and we are under an “air stagnation” alert all week. The fog which hovers over the lake feels appropriately dreary.

In an upbeat footnote, when the septic line was repaired yesterday, and I could use the bathroom, and finally wash the piled up dishes, I was euphoric. To use warm water and wash my face this morning felt like the greatest luxury. NOAA reports confidence is high “this Fall season will moderate after the recent wild weather with afternoon highs potentially reaching into the 50’s in many locations.” While it’s exhausting to keep mustering hope, somehow–together–we hang on as the tide may turn. I have gone back to this poem for comfort…Sometimes

Sometimes – Sheenagh Pugh

Sometimes things don’t go, after all,
from bad to worse.  Some years, muscadel
faces down frost; green thrives; the crops don’t fail,
sometimes a man aims high, and all goes well.

A people sometimes will step back from war;
elect an honest man, decide they care
enough, that they can’t leave some stranger poor.
Some men become what they were born for.

Sometimes our best efforts do not go
amiss, sometimes we do as we meant to.
The sun will sometimes melt a field of sorrow
that seemed hard frozen:  may it happen for you.

2 thoughts on “Hanging on

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