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Note from Elaine: Just remembered that November is National Adoption Month! When I was adopted at the tender age of five, I adjusted to a whole

Return to childhood hobby of shell collecting

Seashells remind me of simple pleasures

new paradigm. A load of baggage came with that. My personal silver lining might have been “adaptation” and “resourcefulness.” (I’ve been told that these are some of my best traits.) Like many, I am striving to give the recent election results a positive interpretation. This reflection (by Rabbi Rachel Barenblat) was sent to me by dear friend Joalie, one of the smartest women I know. I’m passing it on to you, dear readers, in the hope it will help you as much as it did me.


Today mourning and celebration commingle.
Jubilation and heartache are juxtaposed
In neighborhoods where lawns proclaimed
Support for different candidates, on Facebook walls
And Twitter streams where clashing viewpoints meet.

Grant us awareness of each others’ hopes and fears
Even across the great divides of red state and blue state,
Urban and rural. Open us to each others’ needs.
Purify our hearts so that those who rejoice do not gloat
And those who grieve do not despair.

Strengthen our ability to be kind to one another
And to ourselves. Awaken in us the yearning
To build a more perfect union. Let us roll up our sleeves
Whether today we feel exultation or sorrow, and together
Shape a nation of welcome and compassion.

Let ours be a land where no one need fear abuse
Or retribution, where every diversity is celebrated,
Where those who are most vulnerable are protected.
May bigotry and violence vanish like smoke.
May compassion prevail from sea to shining sea.

By Rabbi Rachel Barenblat



Join Elaine on alternate Mondays for reflections about adoption, hiking, and life. I’d love your comments. Include your email if you’d like to continue a dialogue. Thank you for reading my blog!

Visiting the ocean at Fernandina/Amelia Island/Florida

Visiting the ocean: Fernandina/Amelia Island/Florida