Bill and I have a long tradition of moving holidays to more convenient times for us to celebrate. I guess we got started by getting married on a Thursday before I graduated from Seminary on Sunday. (My family was already in town!)
Then there was the Thanksgiving we moved to Friday after an all night rescue run. Not dogs. A battered mom and her kids in desperate need of shelter.
More recently, Valentine’s Day, both our birthdays, and an anniversary… all postponed until we could leave Luther home alone.
Quirky, perhaps, but it works for us.
This year, Thanksgiving came exactly one week early.
Not the food part. The freezer is still full of local, sustainably raised, pastured turkey. I found the wild rice stash. Bill’s started foraging. We’re actually planning our semi-traditional holiday dinner for, you know, Thanksgiving Day!
On Thursday the 21st, however, I was a very busy volunteer, being thankful for a couple thousand people, most of them college students, gathered to listen to another guy I’m thankful for, Senator Bernie Sanders. The rally was held on the campus of Morehouse College on the day following the Democratic debate in Atlanta.
Please hear me say that I’m not sharing this experience to get you to vote for my guy, though I’d be thrilled if you did. Mostly, I want to share the hope of that moment in our history together.
The rally was held in the plaza outside the Martin Luther King, Jr. International Chapel. And, yes, that’s a statue of Dr. King, presiding, as it were, over the day.
It was gorgeous, if a bit chilly. (I have a sunburn to prove it!)
The crowd was in high spirits. I have a very short video I wish I could post here but, in addition to my technical failings as a videographer, apparently this website needs updating (Oooops!!!) and it won’t post.
So, it’s time for reader-participation. Imagine, if you will, some really upbeat music playing wherever you are. The kind that makes you want to move.
Then imagine at least 50 enthusiastic young people dancing to that upbeat music in a style that might be explained as similar to, but groovier than, country line dancing. Kind of a flash mob sort of a thing that just moved my spirit to watch.
And the Morehouse choir was, as always, thrilling.
I spent much of my time answering questions, checking in Invited Guests, hunting up the sign language interpreter, and handing out signs. Lots and lots and lots of signs.
And then Bernie began to speak. And, somehow, in that place, I hung on every word, clapping and waving my sign, while my heart was filled with these words of Dr. King’s for, boiled down to the core, this was what I heard Bernie saying.
And Bernie has been living these words since the days when Dr. King was saying them aloud.
I made some new friends, Thursday. And had an odd conversation with a guy who told me I was too old to vote for Bernie. When I asked why, he responded that old people were too conservative.
After a couple of deep breaths, I replied simply that I’m for Senator Sanders because I have grandchildren growing up in this world and he’s the one I trust with their future. Then, I added that many, many grandmothers of my acquaintance are among the most progressive folks around!
And, I suspect it was my Grammy-heart that saw, in this tiny, pink Bernie angel, the reason that justice and dignity and decency and opportunity matter so much.
And probably also part of my inspiration, when the surprise opportunity presented itself, to hug Jane Sanders and thank her on behalf of all the grandmothers who care about the things she and Bernie care about for their family and all of ours.
Clearly, there are Rabbit Holes, even in Atlanta!