The Rev. Casey dunsworth

serves as Associate Campus Pastor to the Belfry, the Lutheran-Episcopal Campus Ministry to UC Davis

and as Program Director for LEVN, the Lutheran Episcopal Volunteer Network.

All-American, or something.

I live in a great town.

Today, I walked to the little nail place I frequent. It's run by an awesome Vietnamese couple and it's the best little nail place in walking distance from my apartment. That may not sound like a great review but there are actually at least three others that I don't frequent. Regardless! It's a good place.

Today, I was there for about an hour and a half. During that hour and a half, this little salon was packed with women. There were four high school seniors getting their nails done for senior prom. They came in pairs, and I could tell they weren't friends at school by the way they spoke to each other, but they bonded over prom dress colors and nail polish matching and hair styles and after-prom activities (which I assume all parties were embellishing, because, well, come on).

There were two older ladies chattering away about their children and grandchildren, and somehow discovered that one lady's niece is married to the other lady's nephew! Small world this is. (In my family, there's no possible way these women would not know each other, but that is far beyond the point.)

I'd been chatting with the prom girls a bit, asking them about their dresses and stuff, because what else do you do in a nail salon for 90 minutes? Anyway, one of the girls asked me about my senior prom, and my face must have lit up because they all did a silly high school girl "ooooh" thing. I laughed and said that I went to senior prom with my best friend and like 20something of our other best friends. And that everyone was beautiful and everyone had a great time and that he's still my best friend and many of us are still really good friends and will be really good friends forever. And that I can't wait to still be friends with them when all of our kids go to prom at the same high school. That's a lofty dream, but, hey, it's a dream.

The point of this is not prom. The point of this is America. In this country, in this state, in this city, there are people who are living their lives and loving each other and existing in harmony together. In the salon today there were people of six different ethnicities speaking four different languages. And we had common family, common friends, common experiences.

This is a nation of people who are not so different at the core. Nobody talked party affiliations, nobody talked religious differences, nobody talked race relations. And these girls could have just as easily not cared about each other's prom plans. And those women only found out that they had common family because they were busy telling each other all about how proud they were of their kids and of their kids and how many things their kids had in common, even though they grew up on totally different sides of town.

And maybe this is totally reading way too far into a couple of salon conversations, but I could just have easily not cared about the beautiful city and state and country I live in and then you wouldn't be reading this and loving your society a little bit more than you did ten minutes ago.

Some love.