American Election Night 2020, 3:30 am, results still coming in. I feel like I haven’t had a restful dream-filled sleep in weeks. Every time I close my eyes I think about how the world was turned upside down four years ago.
I get out of bed, pull on warm clothes and quietly close the door behind me.
Earlier in the evening there was a dusting of snow, and now the countryside sparkles in silver moonlight. My boots go squeak squeak squeak as they print clean bright tracks on earth’s broad white canvas. Reaching the shore road I stop to listen: no car in the distance, no owl calling to its mate, no coyote yipping at the stars, even the sea is silent. Houses in the Cove are all asleep, as they should be at this time of night, no televisions casting flickering blue light through living room windows.
In a farmyard an old tractor and hay wagon pose attractively in silhouette against an array of hay bales encased in shiny white plastic.
I turn the corner and a breeze springs up. In someone’s yard a rope knocks relentlessly on a flagpole, bang, bang bang. Now I hear the hum—almost a roar—of fans drying out the harvest in the blue potato warehouse. Trucks have been coming and going here all fall: was there successful potato harvest this year? I think so, but I’ve been preoccupied and haven’t noticed.
Of course I know that the troubles of today are mere blips in time. Look up there in the southern sky, under the moon: there’s the hunter Orion waving his club, as he has for millions of years. If he isn’t part of the big picture I don’t know who is. I guess I should just take a deep breath and relax.
I pause and shine my flashlight on the spruce trees, mailboxes, power lines, rosehips: things are as they should be. I’m on PEI! I have so many blessings I can’t begin to count them on my fingers. Time to turn around and follow my footprints homewards, close my eyes and forget about distant rumblings …
… On Saturday we get a call from New York son: “Biden won!” Fireworks go off in London, church bells ring out in Paris, and in the history books a new chapter begins.
I can look around again, think about what I should be doing with the rest of my life, talk to my neighbours, do a little shopping, put up lights, get ready for Christmas. I find out I was wrong about the Living Nativity: it’s still happening! It will be different, though just as lovely and unlikely as ever. (December 4, 5 and 6.) Meanwhile, our Women’s Institute is taking the winter off: too hard to meet in small spaces.
Whew, this memorable year is almost over. At least we’ve been given permission to dream again. It’s wonderful what a good night’s sleep will do to one’s outlook on life.
Merry Christmas and happy dreaming, one and all!