Friday, July 12, 2013

The Spring of our Patriotism

 It all started in pre-school.  My children discovered a love for the presidents, and with our boy that love was for Abraham Lincoln.  So when I flew back east with the kids for a few days to attend a meeting in Alexandria, I made it our mission to do a whirlwind tour of my favorite D.C. sites in one quick yet beautiful evening.  First stop:  Lincoln Memorial.  What a thrill to walk those steps up to the top and look  out over the National Mall.  And I was asked to read the Gettysburg Address to them as it was inscribed on the wall.  I did.  And got all choked up by the end of it.

D.C. has a way of doing that to you.  I lived there for two years and while I never really enjoyed the lifestyle, there is something about heading to the National Mall on a Sunday morning and going for a jog amongst the buildings that represent the heart of our democracy.  And there is something about sharing the memorials with your family that also makes you pause and breathe deep to consider our past.
My favorite of all the memorials is the FDR at night.  It is a treasure in my heart not only for the peacefulness of waterfalls and soft lights, but because his words and visions speak to me.  Kindness, love for all, improving the lives of all. 
 These are the things that matter.
It would serve us well to look back in history occasionally to see the good that can come from trying to help our fellow citizens of the world.
D.C. on a spring evening is incomparable in its beauty.  While we had just missed the cherry blossoms, we were right in the heart of field trip season.  Kids on field trips can be a little crazy, but there is something about the sense of place around these memorials that keeps them for the most part respectful and observant.  It gives me hope.
The kids and I returned back to our All-American farm to help Danish Cowboy finish up the seeding, the sorting of the cattle, and the preparation for haying season and then embarked on another journey filled with history.  We try to take a brief trip every June before the busy season sets in.  It is important to us that our children see all that they can to know what the world has to offer.  We love our life in small town, middle of nowhere eastern Montana, but we are part of a bigger picture and you can't know your place in that picture if you haven't seen the whole thing.  So off to "the presidents" we went.
If you haven't been to Mount Rushmore, please do yourself a favor and go.  I am still awestruck looking at these photos.  And no picture will do it justice.  None.  Ever.  You must see this for yourself.  Here, in the middle of the Black Hills, is this immense memorial to our presidential greats.  They are positioned in the mountains facing east.  From their vantage point, they are looking out over the prairie and the portion of the American continent that they truly helped to develop.  And as you drive around in the Black Hills, though you may be many miles and ridgelines away from Mount Rushmore, they suddenly appear as a distinct outcrop in the distance.  
I'm a dreamer.  I believe that the world holds amazing opportunities for our children.  I didn't plan for our spring to hold so many presidential-themed events, but it came at the perfect time.  There are these people in our past that did great things for their fellow man and I think it is inspiring that there is hope for that in the future...but not if we don't share the message with our kids.

Dare to dream, people. 
Dare to make a difference.

No comments:

Post a Comment