Sometimes James and I talk about how weird it is to refer to coming back to DC as coming home. No one seems to think of this city as home. People pass through for a six-month internship, a one year stint in a first job, or a two year stay until an election sends them back home. No one seems to put down roots here, and thus everyone is constantly passing from one thing to the next, perpetually looking for something better. And who even knows how much longer we will be here, but for now it feels like home, our first home.
Over the next two months you are going to hear a lot of nasty things about this city. During elections it seems that Washington becomes the seat of everything that is wrong with the country. It is the symbol of gross spending, flagrant waste, diminishing virtue, empty words and broking promises. Everyone up for election this fall insists that they are not like this city, that they will not become like it, and they will turn it back to how it should be.
And a lot of that is true.
But in spite of it all, I do kind of love the city. Yes, it is the center of so much of what is wrong with our nation, but it also has constant reminders of so much of what is right, what has been right. There is beauty, history, and hope intermingled with the pessimism, negativity, and corruption.
Last weekend we picnicked across from the Jefferson Memorial, and reveling in such a perfect late summer evening you could almost forget that you were in a city that the rest of the country frequently despises.