Clouds dot the sky this cool morning. A breeze comes and goes. The sunlight is bright. Today is another in a string of perfectly lovely days.
I didn’t do much yesterday other than potting a plant. Today I’ll plant the rest of my new flowers and sweep the deck. I do have to get a few things to make my dessert for game night, and I’ll go shortly. The morning is the best time to shop once the tourists arrive.
Last night I watched To Kill a Mockingbird. It is among my favorites and a superb movie. I used to teach the novel to ninth graders. Prior to their reading it, I gave my students a sense of the time and the place, essentials to understanding the events of the novel. Usually my kids were pulled into the book, and they found they liked reading it despite themselves. For some it was the first novel they ever finished. I remember how indignant they were with the outcome of the trial. Their senses of right and wrong were dependent on circumstances, not race or color.
My first encounter with a person of color was when I was three. My mother and I were in an elevator at a Sears, the big Sears near Fenway Park which has been closed a long time. Three of us were alone in an elevator, the other person being a woman of color. I had only seen white people all my life so I asked my mother about the woman’s color. The woman took offense and started screaming and calling us names like white crackers and white trash. My mother was embarrassed. I was scared. I didn’t understand why she was screaming. I was only three.
I don’t remember what my mother said to me afterwards, but whatever it was both comforted and reassured me, just what I needed right then.