Notes From Home: Awakening

Sunday, March 14, 2021—There are robins singing on this first dawn of daylight saving time. Normally this is a rugged day for me, a day I loathe. But the many beauties of last week have awakened me with a sense of newness. They want to be named.

There were phone calls with friends. “They’re looking for you,” said a brother in Michigan, a sentence that would normally send me underground. But he meant the vaccinators, the people assigned responsibility for getting needles into arms, for getting the country immune before COVID-19 mutates to 19 squared. There were calls with faraway sisters who’ve had both shots, brave souls with families who want to save their lives and their beloveds’. There was my mother who, at almost 95, sailed through both shots unscathed.

There were books and spiritual readings recommended by new mentors. I’d ordered up a pile of titles a few weeks ago. When I began reading them last week, their various messages intersected and made chords instead of melodies, then chord progressions, moving toward something. Reading them is more like a symphony than a song.

But I think it was the messages from our two leaders last week that popped the cork on my pent-up, winterized emotions. On Tuesday, I just happened to be stuck in my chair in front of the radio when Gov. Newsom came on to give his rapid-fire State of the State address to empty bleachers in Dodger Stadium, currently a mass vaccination site. Newsom is not the best speaker in the world, but all through this pandemic, listening to his noontime news conferences, I have found myself comforted by his ordinary talking. His dedication to telling us what’s going on, no matter how bad the news might be, has kept me grounded. I sense that someone who cares is at the wheel.

Tuesday night, before his speech, the newscasters mentioned that Newsom is dyslexic, so his plan to deliver a written-out speech and read it from a teleprompter was going to be a challenge. No one prepared him, either, for the noise of helicopters overhead, likely TV news teams covering the scene. But his message reached me: we are pulling through this and will get back to some kind of normal, maybe a better normal, especially if we pull together and stay vigilant a few more months.

And then there was Joe. Hearing him, too, was almost an accident: same chair, same time slot, same station. Joe Biden, who overcame stuttering to become a public servant, then overcame grief and age to become president, came out to meet us where we live Thursday night. His speech was a balance between expressing the seriousness of our national situation and his confidence that we, as a nation, have what we need to pull through. In the center of the speech, however, he came to the heart of the matter. “I need you,” he said, and then he said it again. And he said it in such a way that it reached me through the radio waves 3,000 miles away, reached my heart. The words “Joe needs me,” came to my mind, clear as a bell. It was a plea to wake up, to come out of hibernation, to join in the effort to restore our country to sanity, to active community.

Joe needs us all, and not just to get vaccinated. He needs us to wake up to the fact that voting isn’t the only way we maintain our citizenship in this well-endowed, multi-ethnic nation of immigrants with only a tiny handful of natives with ancestors indigenous to this place to help us re-learn how to live in it. Some of us may not have heard his call, and some of us may not be physically/mentally able to crawl out of our hibernation holes yet, or ever. But Joe needs us to wake up and claim the true benefits of being Americans by walking up to the plate and taking our turns at bat. The more, the merrier.

Wake up: Joe needs us. What a great morning it is.

Trudy Wischemann is an agrarian Populist who is grateful for Joe Biden’s presidency. You can send her your waking thoughts c/o P.O. Box 1374, Lindsay CA 93247 or visit and leave a comment there.

This column is not a news article but the opinion of the writer and does not reflect the views of The Sun-Gazette newspaper.

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