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Under construction

What I’m loving these days is the energy in the air. Innovation during the pandemic has been inspiring and the upheaval of civic unrest in the wake of George Floyd’s murder gives me hope that things are going to change, finally, for the better. Both of these crises started with terrible things but how we respond shows our true character.

I’ve chosen to stay quiet, follow the news and listen as much as I can to what others are saying. Last week I signed in to a webinar about how the wedding industry can be more supportive of black professionals – lessons that apply to all facets of life. My daughter in Los Angeles keeps me apprised of happenings on the west coast and gives me the all important “young person’s perspective.” I read articles and commentaries in my beloved New York Times and joined a Facebook group devoted to having respectful, informative conversations about all things related to diversity, inclusion, and intersectionality. Tonight I’ll honor Juneteenth by attending a virtual poetry reading and a virtual concert .

People are ordering cakes and this week I’ll start up my summer pie production for two farm stands. As I bake, decorate cakes and clean up the kitchen, I have plenty of time to think. I am a product of white privilege and have made my share of gaffes over the years when talking to people of color. Friends we met when we first moved to Maine in the late 80s, a black couple, told us that they were treated the same in the south as in the north. The difference? In the south it’s based on hate, in the north, ignorance. I’m trying to be less ignorant.

Last weekend’s construction cake, a birthday cake for a two year old, was lots of fun to put together. The steam shovel and dump truck reminded me that roads can be repaired by paving over and over again but, unless they are torn up to the bare ground and rebuilt from the base up, they will not be smooth; problems will be covered up, but not solved.

I’m going to keep listening and reading and learning in the hopes that I’ll be part of the new construction and not part of the problem.


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