“I am fairly certain that given a cape and a nice tiara, I could save the world.”
A poster on 21-year-old Granddaughter Katie’s dresser. I am staying in her bedroom over Thanksgiving holiday as she is in Milford Sound, New Zealand, as a crew member on the tour boat, Go Orange! A graduate in Biology and Environmental Sciences, she is prepared to share her knowledge with travelers. We here in Los Altos (just south of Stanford U), spoke with Katie Thanksgiving evening, which was Friday for her. She and her new Kiwi friends had had Thanksgiving the day before in a dorm where they have private rooms, share the kitchen, and stories of their lives. “Oh, yes,” she said, “outside the wind is gale force, but we’re inside warm and talking up our own storm,” her voice interrupted by flashes of silence. “I called to wish you happy Thanksgiving. Love you. Gotta go. Bye.” He father announced, “She’s fine.” Her mother smiled bravely and shrugged. Her father poured more wine. I thought of the poster on Katie’s dresser.
On the other side of the world, outside Dublin, Ireland, Granddaughter Indy, with a degree in Hydrology, is working on a horse farm and becoming acquainted with the lifestyle there. In the summer, she started with a visit to Norway, then France, Spain, a month in Germany, and now Ireland, and originally planned to stay abroad a year, but now with the presidential election in the USA, she is considering returning to help save the nation.
At Friends House, we elders often worry about our grandchildren’s future. After the presidential election results, we were, as were millions of others, stunned into silence. Nothing much to say. Numbed as in shocked. Unable to see ahead to anything but democratic disaster; we were muted by fear.
Slowly recovering our sense of responsibility and involvement, someone asked me what I was going to do, and I said, “I have doubled my contribution to Planned Parenthood and have re-joined Sierra Club.” It’s not much, but every bit helps.
Also, on the Saturday after the election, I planted 21 white tulips as an act of optimism and faith.
Tomorrow, when I return to Friends House, I will tell my friends of Katie’s and Indy’s commitments to saving the world. And I think I’ll get a cape and a tiara.