Outside my visitor’s window in Nobleboro, Maine, rain falls gently into a lake, but inside the hearts and minds of the people here, the cynicism of this election continues to harden. At the local pizzeria conversations range from “it’s a free country unless Hillary gets elected” to new conspiracy theories on Hitler and how our country is ill-prepared for war. Yesterday, as my wife asks about the price of a magnet and relates she is from California, she hears, “Oh, you are from the Left Coast.”

There is little doubt that a Trump candidacy has left its mark here. A “mark of Cain” against the backdrop of the breathtaking natural beauty of this part of New England. And as I watched part of the debate between Trump and Clinton, I could not help but wonder, was the real loser not either of the candidates but all of us? A nation filled with physical majesty and grace that seems lost in the constant verbal warfare in partisan politics.

It is not just a question of whether Clinton is the more fit to lead this country, but also will her leadership ( or anyone for that matter) make whole a United States from its current attempt to divide into castles of extremism. With no drawbridge open to common purpose.

For myself, I will now go back to watching drops of water meeting and assimilating into a larger body of water outside. Knowing that nothing ever stays the same gives reason to be optimistic, that a day will come when bullying and conspiratorial divisiveness brought by the Republican candidate for president evaporates into the air. That it won’t fall and blemish the physical beauty all around us and that which we should all aspire to in our own soul.

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