I’m struggling with the images from January 6th and the rhetoric of the man who incited it.   And yet, in my dreams, I’m out in nature camping.  

A few years ago, one of my sons and I drove from the Bay area to Yellowstone National Park. As part of the trip, we planted White Pines in the Tetons.  We were taken up to higher altitude to plant the little trees that had been carefully nurtured to replace those that had died from pine beetles and fungal disease.  

The little plants we were given to plant ranged from six to ten inches tall.  My son and I were a team, so he dug the hole, and we planted together and tapped the dirt around the precious green sprigs.  They are slow-growing trees so maybe my son or grandson will return one day to see the start of a forest. 

Though it was June, there was still snow at altitude, and my son took my hand to help me over the tough parts.  

That comes to me now as I hope enough Republicans respond to what was clearly a desire by one person to overturn the will of the people.  

Rep. Jamie Raskin said “This case is much worse than someone who falsely shouts ‘Fire!’ in a crowded theater.  “It’s more like a case where the town fire chief, who’s paid to put out fires, sends a mob not to yell ‘Fire!’ in a crowded theater but to actually set the theater on fire – and who then, when the fire alarms go off and the calls start flooding into the fire department asking for help, does nothing but sit back, encourage the mob to continue its rampage and watch the fire spread on TV with glee and delight.”

Raskin continues: “Democrats are pushing for the “fire chief” to never be allowed to hold public office again.”

“And he objects, and he says we’re violating his free speech rights just because he’s pro-mob, or pro-fire or whatever it might be.  Come on. I mean, you really don’t need to go to law school to figure out what’s wrong with that argument.”

I sit with that and think of those little pines, some of them standing taller now, reaching out and around.

Leonard Cohen’s words come to mind.

If you don’t become the ocean, you’ll be seasick every day.

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