Also serving the communities of De Luz, Rainbow, Camp Pendleton, Pala and Pauma

Kickin it: In my lifetime, I've witnessed…

I keep thinking of Kipling’s poem “If” and have come to admire it more each year. Because in my lifetime I’ve witnessed some things that are amazing and others that are downright immoral. And every time I think I’ve seen it all, something proves me wrong. It seems corruption has become the new normal.

I’ve lived through tragedies like the death of my son, watched the execution of JFK followed by his brother Robert, and then Martin Luther King, Jr. I’ve watched in horror while citizens were beaten by frustrated police officers.

Since the death of Walter Cronkite, I've been numbed by the falsehoods reported in the name of news. I’ve heard news anchors from across public airways report lies as though they spoke the truth. Was it to save their jobs or do they not possess integrity? Sitting before a camera reporting their personal version of the truth instead of the honest truth does not make them newscasters, it makes them liars.

I’ve seen the sun eclipse and the moon cast its shadow across the skyline. In my lifetime, I’ve seen the glory of a sunrise on Malibu Beach. I’ve sailed across the Pacific and the Atlantic oceans both at dawn and sunset; I’ve driven across this country several times, stopping at all but a few states.

I’ve helplessly watched as injustice was meted out with a heavy hand against citizens, while persons slipping across our border are treated like valued guests; it was even reported that a California State U.S. Representatives slept with a Chinese foreign spy yet was ignored and gone unpunished. I’ve listened to a former President lie as he looked into the camera and said, “I did not have sexual relations with that woman” even though a pretty blue dress was spotted with his semen.

“If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken, twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,” aha, now ya know why a former President is being dragged from state-to-state on, excuse the pun, trumped up charges all the while a former Secretary of State allowed our ambassador in Bangladesh to be brutally murdered without sending in the Marines. It seems to me if one is “Blue,” there won’t be consequences.

I’ve watched biological men declare they are women just to win a prize. In my lifetime, I’ve seen Olympic star Bruce Jenner leap from the esteemed front of a Wheaties box only to balance on a pair of Manalo Blahniks. I’ve watched international cyclist Lance Armstrong disgrace himself on a world stage; I’ve lived through the VietNam war and can look back and see the protestors were right.

Like all wars from the beginning of time, I’m still shocked by the horrible things men inflict upon each other, along with the many detestable crimes they commit against women and vile cruelties toward children.

One wonders why evil men are allowed to continue these despicable horrors against innocents like in Gaza? What makes a man slash off a child’s head or rape a young virgin before stabbing her to death? What insane thoughts must he have?

“If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue, or walk with kings…” yet there are those same wealthy men with royal rank, some privileged athletes, or worse some elected politicians who grow bored with their gifted status only to engage with girls the age of their daughters lured by wealth into depraved sexual acts? What is it about a man’s penis that drives him to do this? And maybe it should just be removed.

In years past, I’ve celebrated Easter Sunday at sunrise on hilltops, I’ve quit jobs and was fired once. I’ve been cheated on, lied to, and praised. All of which took me to a better place.

I believe in God. I believe in Jesus. Although, I have zero faith in the people who build temples in their names and declare themselves messengers. Like Jesus casting the charlatans from the temple steps, we citizens need to blow a trumpet and demolish the walls around Washington D.C. as we “…watch the things you gave your life to, broken, and stoop and build ‘em up with worn-out tools.”

I’ve listened to my grandfather’s tales of traveling west on horseback to work in the silver mines of Colorado only to sleep in the tunnels after putting the feet of his cot in turpentine to keep the bugs off him through the night.

He told how he courted my grandma on horseback, staked a land claim in Colorado, and then moved their goods by covered wagon across the Kansas plains to live in a one room dug out until better times.

I sat beside him and watched that “giant step for all mankind.” I’ve watched with a heavy heart as a beautiful princess lay in her coffin drawn through the streets of London; I watched the weddings of both of her sons, and even the re-marriage of the prince she had wed. I’ve applauded the Queen as she negotiated her life with dignity and like the UK, we, too, are experiencing the disasters of open borders.

But never, in what is soon to be 80 years, have I ever seen two red-headed woodpeckers sitting side by side outside my kitchen window less than 15 feet away. Perched above the hummingbird feeder at 5:40 p.m., Wednesday June 11, 2024, they sat for a fleeting few seconds before flying into the oak tree below.

“Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it…” One can only wonder, now have I seen everything?

Elizabeth can be reached at [email protected]


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