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Perspective: To all things there is a season

It’s hard to believe -- Summer is over. Well, not until the 21st. Still, the kids are back in school, in stores I see Halloween merchandise and the nights are cool and lush. Summer is over, even if our gardens are still producing some summer veggies, the bulk of the hard work in the yard is done.

Other things tell me summer is waning. I am washing floors and putting down rugs, windows are getting a new look. An urgency courses through my body -- let’s get everything done, the days are shorter. It’s time to can, freeze and preserve our winter food. It’s tomato season, strawberry jam bubbling on the stove, peaches, pears and apples, waiting in the wings.

All this and so much more. Now, let’s add one more thing: Running for elected office. That’s right, in the middle of everything, I decided to be slated for County Board. My days are long without campaign activities running through my already filled-to-the-brim brain.

I looked and looked for someone to step up, and at the end of the day I decided I love my community, my state and my country enough to rattle my way through the fall and take on one more thing.

Because here it is -- yes, democracy is a flawed, messy experiment and it’s still better than any other alternative. When we the people act like we the people and take up the mantle of responsibility -- anything is possible.

How do we do that? We step up. We step in. We do our part -- that’s how it gets done.

Lou Ness has been working in service to people for decades. She has headed church-based programs in Rockford and served as Director of the Rockford Police Chaplains Program. She was an early pioneer in the domestic violence community.