On my deck overlooking the water, the orange and pink abutilon have re-blossomed, their brilliant heads hanging like bells over the tall terra cotta pot. Weeks ago they looked deader than dead. Leaves blackened with spots that almost covered all the green. On closer inspection, the tiniest of white specks. What was wrong? Was there any hope? I found a helper, Felix, at the local nursery. Tattooed from neck to arms to ankles, I figured he had an interesting story, a tough life, some time ago. And he knows and loves plants. “Yes, there’s hope”, he said. “See how hard it is trying to live.” I got the oil spray. Watched and treated morning and evening. Fierce flowers, just needed some assistance. Protection. Care.

As I watch President Obama tour the devastated storm damage on the East Coast, with his characteristic care, compassion,calm and competence, I am awash with the urgency of this election. We women will make the difference, and must. Are you aware that since 2001 the United States has spent close to $4 trillion on wars? Without even counting the incalculable cost to American, Iraqi and Afghan families in terms of grief, loss, dislocation. Yet in this country, 23.1% of children live in poverty. Only Romania has a worse record! One in 9 babies is born prematurely, risking early death and lifelong disabilities. Here we rank in a tie with Somalia and Thailand, at #131 out of 184 countries worldwide. There are more than 7 million children living without health insurance. Almost 2 million kids homeless. Why are we not taking care of the children? This includes care of the environment.

Whether you are literally a mother or not, you know that we are all connected. We, as adults, are especially responsible for the care and protection of the world’s children. We have as our President a leader, a father, a husband who absolutely respects and honors women. The first piece of legislation he passed was the Lilly Ledbetter Act, to right the wrongful pay discrimination she suffered for 19 years. Look up this lady, born in Possum Trot, Alabama – she’s amazing, tenacious, brave, and smart. She persevered even after the U.S. Supreme Court reversed her lower court victory which had awarded her $3 million. Remember too, dear reader, that the next President will likely appoint one or two Supreme Court justices. The GOP war on women, from state to national levels, is breathtaking in its relentless aggression and hostility. If you grew up when I did, before birth control was available, you will understand the huge consequences of not having access to birth control. Not just for a “woman’s right to choose”, true as that is. I am absolutely pro-life, as well as pro-choice. Meaning: I value the life of the mother, her partner, any existing or future children, her desire and need to work, to be educated, to contribute her gifts to the world. These health care issues are family, economic, spiritual issues.

Dear Reader, I haven’t quite got the hang of the 250 word blog. There is so much to say. Remember what the Dalai Lama said in Vancouver at the Peace Summit, 2009: The world will be saved by the Western woman. Vote in honor of yourself, your mothers and grandmothers, who perhaps did not have that right. Vote for the future of your daughters, their fullest, richest lives.

Today Felix was back helping me plant a blueberry bush. As we were chatting along, he turned to me and said “I feel like time is speeding up. Do you feel it, too?” “Yes, yes I do!” I answered, thinking of all the exciting Birth 2012 stuff that is happening. He added: “It really feels like a quickening.”  And so it is. A new way of life, a new world is possible. Think with your wise and wild heart. Use your greening power of care,connection, creativity, avoiding the pitfalls of polarizing black and white issues and answers. Vote for the leaders at all levels who do just that.

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