It’s been a tough week.
Half of us are shocked and deeply disappointed; half are shocked and deeply relieved. Neither side is getting along too well at the moment and some ugly examples of humanity’s dark side have surfaced. My sincere hope is it’s a temporary zit on the face of our nation.
But what broke my heart this week was the picture of Hillary walking in the woods near her home in New York. She looked stately in her black coat and chic ankle boots. Her face was natural and her hair was soft and windswept.
I’m not used to this version of Hillary.
The Hillary I know wears shades while studying her smartphone. She has a structured coif and wears only tailored pantsuits. She shoulder shimmies in delight after systematically dismantling her opponent in a debate she so carefully prepared for. She’s not normally home on a weekday walking her dogs.
The Hillary I saw in that photo looked like a woman seeking respite after doing battle. I can relate. By Friday, my eyes were puffy and my head ached from the barrage of Facebook posts, opinion pieces, news coverage, conversations among family, friends and coworkers and, most recently, Kate McKinnon’s cold open on SNL.
Today, I shut my computer, put away my phone and took a walk in the woods. Like Hillary, I turned to nature to escape reality for a while. The air was uncharacteristically warm for mid-November. The sun shone in a bluebird sky overhead. The leaves crunched pleasantly beneath my feet. The newly bare trees revealed birds nests, beehives and a woodpecker. I got to pet a friendly dog.
Tonight, I called my Mom and we had a long conversation about the election. We voted differently, but spoke civilly about our beliefs. It felt nice to get that out of the way so we can move forward together.