Monday, July 4, 2011

4th of July!

It's Independence day here in the states. There was a time when that meant everybody headed into town with a picnic lunch. Games were played. Foot races. Sack races. Three legged races. At some point in the day, folks would get out their best riding horses and run horse races down the main street. That was long ago. The street was dirt and if it rained... it was mud. The idea of the whole thing was for us, like other countries in the world, to celebrate our independence from England. Now, it is different. No backward glances. No dwelling on the words of founding fathers. A time to remind ourselves that while not perfect, our goal is to seek perfection in regards to personal rights, human dignity and justice.

Our ideals are so high, but we've put them on a shelf somewhere and forgotten about them. There will be parades in many small towns across the country today. There will be fireworks. But now, it feels, at least to me, that we are suppose to take this holiday and just stand in awe and reverence to the military. The military already has Flag Day, Veterans Day. They've taken over Memorial Day and the fourth of July is a military holiday now too. Makes me sad.

So today, I will celebrate by weeding the asparagus bed. Later, I'll go back and sit with the horses and have a hard cider. I'll discuss with them how miraculous it is that the ideals of liberty were so well constructed, in this country with feet of clay, but wouldn't be truly implemented for almost two hundred years, during the civil rights movement. How amazing that women would not have the vote until 1924. How frightening it is that there is discussion that corporations should also have the right to vote.

I will go and talk to my horses about principles and purpose and high ideals, because I think they are the only ones willing to listen to me on that topic.


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