Greetings from Porterville, CA, where I am doing two weeks of author visits in schools. It’s a different world here in the San Joaquin Valley — orchards of almond and oranges, instead of Oregon hazelnuts; fields of grapes-soon-to-be-raisins, instead of grass seed and mint; feedlots of 1,000 dairy cows that confirm my lactose intolerance, instead of blue herons grazing the pastures for frogs that confirm . . . um, confirm why I don’t eat frogs?
Or something like that.
Anyway, the point is that despite all of the bad news we are constantly bombarded with, and multiple reasons to embrace cynicism, I just . . . can’t.
Travel reminds me that America is both varied and beautiful. And not just the landscape. We are a nation of multiple shades. Any differences are far outweighed by the common thread of humanity. Our collective waters run deep. Yes, we’ve still have a LONG way to go, but that doesn’t negate the progress we’ve made.
Progress. A nice thought. And who leads the charge? Storytellers play a big part, I believe. Write on, my friends. Tell your stories in all of their glorious diversity.
Tom, who is prone to sudden fits of optimism, and glad of it.
The amazing waters of Clear Lake, Oregon.