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  • Michelle Cordova

Jury Duty...

I'd put in for a delay once, but now it was time to honor my jury summons. I was to report to the courthouse front steps 8a Monday February 7, 2022. Early to rise, I did everything needed to prepare for the unpredictability of a potentially long day. Even though I’d always wanted to experience being on a jury, mentally I put it out into the universe that I be dismissed after day one. I had very important plans the next morning, which could be canceled, but I sure didn’t want to.

I walked to the courthouse, watched the sunrise over Downtown Sacramento, snapped a few pics along the way, and moved amongst all of the people out walking to their destinations, too. The Capitol looked lovely in the morning light, and it felt good to be out moving along in the cool air of a new day.

Sacramento Capitol
Capitol City, Sacramento Feb 7, 2022

Reaching the courthouse, I joined a crowd of fellow potential jurors, gathered on the steps like seagulls waiting for fishing boats to come in with the morning’s catch.

Just before 8a we were made to form a line outside along the edge of the building wall. I lost my place towards the front of the building and kept walking back, back, back to the end of a long line.

Once in line, we were told, if chosen, we’d have to commit to two weeks of jury service. I envisioned all of the things I’d have to cancel, adjust, move around to accommodate this unforeseen complication. It was at that moment I decided whatever happens, I’m in. It was my service, and I would make the best of it, maybe even learn something.

In contrast, visible irritation was expressed by line standers all around me, with deep sighs, slumping shoulders, rolling eyes, and audible groans.

We were told to remove all metal objects before entering the building. I took keys and everything out of my pockets, and removed my belt from my waist in preparation for security, shoving everything into my already crowded satchel. The line shifted forward once more. There was a pause, until it was announced, “We have reached all of the jurors we need for today. You all have completed your jury duty. You are dismissed, and won’t be eligible for jury duty again for another 18 months.” Hoots and hollers came from the line. We dropped our summons in a box, received a receipt for the day, and went back to our lives.

The walk home was joyful, with a sense of freedom, the unexpected gift of an open day ahead of me. I even got a, “Good Morning. Have a beautiful day, Love” from a stranger, the cherry on top of this cake of a morning.

I learned a huge lesson from this close jury duty call, and the whole experience caused a shift in me. We really don’t know what the future holds. We prepare as best we can, but things can change at any minute. It’s a person’s attitude that matters. All of the people who were put out by being at the courthouse that morning, only to be dismissed before entering the building, wasted all of that energy on something that didn’t end up happening, something that never existed.

Despite the circumstances, and what you might start off thinking, things can change, and even work out for the good.

Oh, and sometimes being at the end of the line is a surprise blessing.

Thank you for reading.


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