It’s September. There’s hope.

daffodilIn the Midwest where I grew up, we looked forward to spring. One of my most vivid movie memories as a child (second perhaps only to my sheer terror at the wicked witch of the west and her flying monkeys) was a scene from Dr. Zhivago. After endless footage of snow and ice, the daffodils burst onto the screen and even a little girl could feel the hope in their bright yellow blossoms.  Ahhhh …. sunshine. Warmth.

And then I moved to the south. Now when the days begin to grow longer and the daffodils start to bloom, a sad resignation sets in.  Soon it will be summer and the windows will have to be kept closed and everything in my yard will wither and I’ll have to get up at 6 a.m. to go for a walk. Sigh ……

First I think that July is the worst, because you know this is going to go on yet for a really long time.  Then I think that August is even worse because it’s been incredibly hot for ever and it’s still going to be incredibly hot for a very long time.

autumnThen September comes. They days are shorter but it is still every bit as muggy as it was three months ago.  However, September brings something new.  Sooner or later, sometime during the month, there is going to be at least one cool evening, one time to sit out on the porch, one night to sleep with the window open. You don’t know when it will come, and it probably won’t be until late in the month, but it is coming.

We’re still a long way away from November, when we in Houston will have what passes for autumn if we’re lucky. Trees will turn and breezes will blow and for a few months we will get to eat out on the deck, just like the people in Moscow do in the summer.

It’s nice that where ever you live, there is hope.

Southern heroes worth celebrating

Friends who have read z2 have begun sending me articles and links to other blogs  discussing the disturbing tendency in my home region to glorify and revere some of the most vile leaders of the confederacy while overlooking the genuine heroism of people of all colors who stood up for human freedom and dignity. It is nice to discover that some of the more admirable characters in z2 have real life counterparts.

From CardCow.com

From CardCow.com

Please check out Chris Hedges column “White Power to the Rescuehere at a site called TruthDig, where  you can read about the battle in Memphis to cease honoring Memphis native Nathan Bedford Forrest, who along with other dubious accomplishments was the first grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan.  Many citizens of Memphis would prefer the city instead laud crusading black journalist Ida B. Wells, who risked her own life to write about the lynch mobs in the area, or German immigrant  Jacob Burkle who used his house as a stop on the underground railroad for escaped slaves in the decade before the Civil War.

Part of the message of hope in z2 is that there are people from all backgrounds and all places worthy of our admiration.  Too often, however, they aren’t the ones who have been etched into granite and are shown riding in on a horse.