Lightening the Burden of History

Yesterday we sat chatting in the kitchen with our wonderful Memphis realtor as we worked to get the house just right for photographs. (It listed yesterday!) He asked Steve what he taught. History, Steve said.

”History was made yesterday, wasn’t it?” Our realtor said.

My heart sank. I’ve been out of the news lately and out of social media, preoccupied with packing, cleaning and staging the house for sale, not to mention working on the house we bought in New Mexico. What had I missed? Another massacre? Another record death count? Did we go to war? Had the Arctic finally melted completely? More fires? What could possibly be worse and more newsworthy than what we’d already been through? Surely I would have already heard if a major city had been bombed. Wouldn’t I? My imagination failed me.

No use pretending to sophistication. I was out of the loop and had to steel myself to ask.

”Juneteenth,” he responded.

It crept through my fuzzy brain. Ah yes, we had made it a national holiday. It was good news, for once! I felt a burden lighten.

When had I become the sort of person who expects all news to be bad? I blame 2020. In fact, blaming 2020 is going to become my go-to move for the rest of the year.

I am not even sure how to celebrate Juneteenth, though I suppose I will celebrate it the way I mostly celebrate all holidays except Yom Kippur, which is to eat something, write something, and donate money to a good cause.

I hope this recognition of Juneteenth as a national holiday is the beginning of great things for all our citizens and our country. History is a dreadful burden, in many ways, but recognition of the fight to improve is an excellent way to proceed. I look forward to a year filled with more good news. If you have suggestions on how I should celebrate this holiday (or any holiday) let me know.

Be well, friends!

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