Drove a different way to Lewes, Delaware. And I saw the Eastern Shore of Maryland again. Beauty shops and auto part stores. Proverbial poverty along the railroad tracks. Great hope and big fish in a small isolated decaying pond. Salt marshes, wealthy mansions, haunted abandoned shacks, and a great naked tree trunk, a monolith and monument to a hope for prosperity long gone. Travel away from my place and I start to see again.
I thought about how America is made of lost souls with abundance issues. Escaping poverty of their lives and the lives of their parents and grandparents, but they remain haunted by their family’s ghosts of scarcity. My family has a story about my great-grandmother shooting a man in the rear with a shotgun full of rock salt because he was stealing from their smokehouse. That was during the Depression.
America, Ireland, Mexico, and the Gaza Strip all have citizens who are scarred by their history of persecution, preservation, and survival. And when you see all the abandoned houses, all the poverty and the homelessness, you are reminded that all your abundance is so tentative, so fleeting. Our assumption that this comfort will always be here is naïve. Yet we would go mad if we lived life expecting the worst to happen continually. And so we tell ourselves we are safe. We are privileged. And that’s just as it should be.
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