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I want to know, have you ever seen rain

And so, here we are.

It has ended ... for now.

Not with a bang, but clearly with a whimper.

Jackson County — about to enter a state-mandated two-week “social pause” because of a spike in COVID-19 cases, to the continuing consternation expressed by its Board of Commissioners — voted for the incumbent by a margin of fewer than 5,000 votes.

We are divided.

At some point between now and Jan. 6 — when the members of Congress meet to officially count the votes taken Dec. 14 by the Electoral College — we should have an answer ... which 50.34% of our families, friends and neighbors might not accept.

There have been threats of lawsuits, charges of corruption, arrests made of those who threatened intimidation or intended to carry out violence at ballot-counting sites.

We are divided.

Even in the unexpected event of a traditional, tactful or patriotic concession, what separates us — what has continued to separate us, for far longer than the term of this presidency — is unlikely to recede any time soon.

Before us comes the trio of holidays meant to restore body, mind and soul. The grace and gratitude of Thanksgiving; the faith and festivity of Christmas; the rejuvenation and restoration of a New Year.

It feels more like it has taken 10 years, rather than 10 months, to trudge to this square on the wall calendar.

The celebrations and demonstrations following the result, which was “called” by news organizations Saturday morning, were spontaneous and predictable. A release of pent-up emotion and energy that has built, seemingly and steadily, over the past four years.

As happens these days, bits and pieces of “information” caught fire over our computers — of the president playing golf, of a press event held by a trio of his lawyers outside a Philadelphia landscape business, of those in favor of the results cheering in the streets, and those opposed chanting about fraud and, in at least in one rally gone viral in this social-media frenzy, singing “We Are The Champions.”

We are divided.

Outside my window, the leaves are well into falling in the autumn of this dreadful year. There’s a chill in the air to match the distance we keep from one another physically, politically, philosophically.

“I love the smell of dead leaves,” she has said to me more than once, as we have found ourselves walking beneath them and among them — setting free our inner children in order to rustle them with our feet.

Nature, in death, has a way of restoring our senses to the possibilities of life. To see that the sun still rises even as the temperatures drop. To hope for the return of steady rain after months without, despite the mud, the melancholy that stings us to the bone.

Rain inspires rest. There are few universal joys more widely accepted than to climb onto the couch or into bed on a weekend afternoon, close your eyes and listen as the rain lulls you to sleep.

We are divided ... but we need that.

However we perceive this pandemic, however we perceive this election, a “social pause” is precisely what is needed at this time and in this place.

Reactions have been too swift, too spiteful, too lacking in their clarity of thought. They represent who we are, how we communicate, how we came to this division.

Lord knows we need, and could use, a break.

Jackson County continues to set daily and weekly records for coronavirus cases. Our numbers pale when compared to larger areas of the state or across the country, but that has only seeded the political distrust of scientists and medical experts planted by those promoting an agenda.

It’s not happening here, we shouldn’t face restrictions, goes the argument. Except, of course, that it is.

On Tuesday, the county Elections Office determined that 63,012 of us voted for the incumbent, while 58,386 cast ballots for his probable successor. Dare say, the members of both groups know each other.

Some will no doubt pass the cranberry relish around the same table the day after the social pause ends — united by blood long before divided by the heat of this moment.

Driving to work Saturday afternoon, cars filled the six lanes of a four-way stop. Leaves blew across the streets, while gray clouds caucused overhead ... voting whether to open or move along..

The drivers proceeded through this intersection, without incident, carrying on with the day ahead.

Autumn is here. Winter is coming.

Rain washes away, slows life down, allows us to breathe.

Let it rain.

Mail Tribune news editor Robert Galvin can be reached at rgalvin@rosebudmedia.com

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