I was greeted by this pithy, succinct, insightful statement of the events of the previous evening from a dear friend of mine. It confirmed precisely how I was feeling; it was as though Voldemort had defeated Harry Potter, or the dark forces of Mordor had overcome the armies of Gondor or perhaps the Empire and Darth Vader finally conquered Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia and Han Solo. As I explored my feelings I noticed a sense of affront; it seemed so unfair, Steven Harper and his Conservatives despite abhorrent tactics had been rewarded with a majority. A man who used fear and intimidation, unfairly demonized his opponents, used lies and deception about their policies, and generally used control and attack policies to isolate himself and his agenda from the voters. What can you say about a man who needed to manage the audiences so carefully to ensure no negative feedback? It all seemed so unCanadian, yet he has been given a free hand for five years as his reward. Will Canadian politics ever been the same? He has already told us that his first act with a majority will be to deprive the opposition parties of funding.
I noticed myself sinking into despondency, looking for a lifeline in my despair. I had memorized the words of the Serenity Prayer and said them over and over again. “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change.” It helped but then I remembered a beautiful poem by Wendell Holmes.
When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light.
For a time I rest in the grace of the world,
and am free.
So I went out for a walk and a coffee. The sun was still shining, the mountains spectacularly snowcapped, the trees delicious in their adornment of spring green, the gentle waves still lapping on the beach at Kitsilano reminding me of the beautiful mantra, “there is so much magnificence in the ocean, waves are rolling in.” I began to let go of my angst. I had a smile from a beautiful young mother pushing her stroller, the stunning magnolia I passed still had its glorious blossoms and birds flirted around my head in their engaging courtship dance. I could not change the results but I could change my attitude. I can perhaps hold Steven Harper in love and light, hoping perhaps that now he has his prize, now he has vented his spleen on his opposition, he may experience some humility and compassion and even recognize that over 60% of the electorate oppose his policies. Miracles have been known to happen.