I voted today. Like my dad, Fedora-man, my ballot choices are secret. I’m an Independent, though I’ve belonged to each party in the past wanting to find out more.
That voting is private runs in my bones. In the old country people of my family, immigrants and refugees, this secrecy of vote was cherished in America… for back in the villages everyone knew everyone’s business
and those who had more, or less, often punished, exiled or denounced others for their opinions or principles… whether neighbors or armed invaders, of which there were far too many in Fedora-man’s lifetime.
Maybe you have a father, parents, grandparents like this too: Dad didn’t belong to any revolution; I cant point to his bona fides being any more than standing in his hot pepper garden, spading and hoeing and making sure the next season of cemetery flowers and tomatoes and corn and peaches for canning would nourish us through one more winter, supplemented by ice fishing and his brother’s hunting.
But there is a voting prayer he taught me, and I said it today before I voted:
Here in the Rockies, there are at least 12 proposals for amendments to the State Constitution, many of them veiled attempts at various, several straight forward, and then there are choices for reappointments of more than a dozen judges, and though there are at least nine persons offered for the Presidency, for me, three candidates are to choose from: Barr, McCain, Obama…
the voting pages are legal size paper, heavy stock, about 40# grade, printed on both sides, two pages… a long long ballot: it’s seems a little like a Village Inn food menu… and Fedora-man’s prayer today was carried into a time when he no longer lives on earth but some of what he lived is still in his daughter fully alive…
Just this: Help me vote for the souls who can do the most to help those who suffer most.
I used a black ball point pen. It was raining as I sat in the truck marking my choices; this but not that, this one, but not that one, so 50-50 on these two, and others, but the Fedora-man prayer helped decide.
It was dark when I was done, and cold, below freezing. The white frost was coming onto all the towering blue spruces and dark Douglas firs and scraggly junipers all around. I put the pages in the big envelope, signed my name exactly as it is on my voting card to make extra sure my vote will be counted… and overall, I thought only this then in the dark with the truck running and the headlights streaming yellow in the rain…
I trust my vote to count. I trust it will be counted. I trust I will be somewhere in the enormous final tally; that the woman in the truck in the rain has a voice, a small one, but a voice ‘in matters that Matter.’ That I take it on faith. Just like my dad, maybe just like your dad, your parents, your grandparents too… just like Fedora-man.