I really do not want to say this word or make comments on it. Everything is so political and this word is so toxic. It is all so toxic.

A lone tree stands at an angle, battered by the wind and salt spray, as I gaze over the vast expanse of the beach. They vested my privileged heart with the ideals that our country stands for, for the promise of freedom and opportunity that it represents. Looking at the horizon, a deep sadness crept over me. I am not liking the actions of those before us and the few in control today; the injustices in the name of progress.

I thought of the native peoples who have been displaced and mistreated, of the way their cultures and traditions have been trampled in the name of, um, whatever it is called. I thought of the countless lives that have been lost to greed and corruption, of the way industry has ravaged the natural beauty of this land for profit.

There is romance of what could be, for the hope that one day we might live up to the ideals that I “think” we are supposed to stand for.

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