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The Hopes and Energy of the Young

Forty-four years ago this spring, as we were preparing for our wedding right here at Wake Robin Farm, a friend of my mother’s gave us one of her own creations as a gift—a clay lion, I guess you’d call it. To be honest, I never liked it, and the “best wishes” this woman delivered with it didn’t further endear the poor creature to me. “You’d better not be hoping to have kids,” she said. “The way the world is going, they won’t have anything to eat.”

Wow, thanks for your thoughts.

I put this piece of "art" way below the dip outside the kitchen window, hoping the next high water of the Marys River would carry it away. Nope. So I took to tossing it farther out. No way. Flood after flood, like old song says, the cat came back, he just wouldn’t roll away.

Weirdly, though, by now I’ve developed for him a certain affection. Every time I pry him out of the mud and set him back on the log, I think, check it out, Irva—we’re still here. Our three kids never lacked for food, and now THEIR kids are eating their fill of the fruit from our own garden. Glad I never took your advice to heart.

So what is it that makes people want to stomp on the optimism and energy of the young? Such bad karma.

I love all the 18-year-olds of Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, who survived the recent shooting and are raising their voices against being made to live in daily fear of guns, finally trying to fix what their elders have let go on far too long.

Emma Gonzalez—you go, girl! You’re the hope of the future, and the sour, mean-spirited adults who fear your power and want to stomp on you for it should be ashamed.

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