Lynn Mitchell

American Omens

Lynn Mitchell

American Omens

I don’t notice omens. Not that I don’t think omens are real, I happen to think they are, but I tend to only see omens in hindsight. So, on Halloween when I was traveling back to Missouri to vote, it never occurred to me that a two-hour traffic stand-still on I-80 was a foretelling of the political pile-up following the Presidential Election.  Only in hindsight, remember.

The last thing I wanted to do was jump in a car and drive 736 miles across four states in the middle of a pandemic, and I was leaving the relative safety of rural Ohio to enter the ‘no holds barred’ arena of Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri. That and I really needed those twenty-six round-trip travel hours to get my homework done in the semester’s home stretch. But I remembered what a very wise woman told me during a post-enrollment meltdown: “It’s grad school; relax.”

Complaining aside, I was looking forward to the family time. I’d be there for my grandson’s birthday; and I really, really wanted to vote. It was important to my mental health.  Rarely does my vote pick a winner in my red Missouri state, and I had no illusions that our presidential electoral votes would turn blue this year. I just wanted to vote, be part of the tally. Simply walk into the VFW, fill in the ovals, and finally for a moment, not feel helpless as I watched the moral fabric – yes, the soul of America burn in a dumpster fire.

It is so gratifying now to know that when I marked that circle, it was in solidarity with seventy-nine million other Americans. Americans voting either blue that day, or Americans voting red down the ballot after checking the top box blue, blue and red, we decided together enough was enough. We want change.

Now, change can mean an infinite number of things to an infinite number of people, but we already agreed that if we even had a chance in hell of getting the change we wanted, we needed to start at the top. It will be incumbent upon all seventy-nine-million of us to stay committed, vigilant, and united. That said, there is plenty we still disagree on, but we can find common ground to keep us true north. 

How about facts vs lies? That’s an easy one. We’re done with lies, tired of being taken for fools. Tell us the truth, even at the risk of your personal and/or political detriment. Red or Blue. End of discussion.

There is no Fake News. Come on. There is only news or there is propaganda. Once again, news is based on facts; propaganda is based on lies. Blue or Red. We are adults. We want facts. We can make up our own minds. 

Here’s a given. We want ALL of our legislators who gladly accept in salary, the taxes of our hard-earned wages, to “do the country’s work” to do just that. Work for us. Get stuff done, or get voted out. Red or Blue, that goes for you.

And of course, keep voting. Every election. Just vote.

More people voted in this election than at any time during the past one hundred years plus. Think about it. Record numbers. Red and Blue. Sixty-six plus percent of the electorate voted, and by a healthy majority we opted to overthrow the Sith Lord. What if we could get eighty-five percent of us to vote! Can you imagine what we can do? Voting keeps us free, and in this election, our votes did indeed set us free.

Even the world exhaled. And not just heads of state; everyday citizens too. One message from Pakistan so brilliantly reflected the collective world mind, “The world can look forward to humane and sensible leadership…It’s a good day!!!” 

These are good days. There are better days ahead, and we’ll be okay. I know this, because this time I recognized the omen.

I was headed back east, but hadn’t been on the road long. Beautiful fall day, no traffic, so I was driving like a grandmother when I saw her out the windshield. A soaring silhouette, she was climbing. The profile was unmistakable, but I still had to wait. You know, for that moment when she comes around, banks just enough to catch the sun; her head and tail lighting up against a bright blue canopy. Yeah. I think we’ll be alright.

Lynn Mitchell

COVID-19, in tandem with some coaxing from family was the impetus for Lynn enrolling in the Wilkes University Maslow Family Graduate Program in Creative Writing. Following a career of writing within the nonprofit and marketing fields, Lynn has embraced her retirement years hellbent on creative writing. Here we go!

Madison Swart

Madison Swart (who also goes by Teddy, she/they pronouns) is a nonbinary photographer living in Manhattan, fighting for Black Trans Liberation, abolition, and against white supremacy.