Tuesday, July 4, 2017

America's Birthday 2017

This year the Fourth  of July holiday feels different.  Rather than celebrating America's past and present, I'm in a more reflective frame of mind about its future.
I don't want to rain on anyone's parade (or picnic, or fireworks) but I am going to share some of my thoughts.  

Part of me is grieving for the America I believed the country was created to be,
 the one where the poor and the oppressed were welcomed and aided, were grateful to be here and sought to assimilate, 
where "anybody" could become President (or Congressperson, or mayor) and money didn't buy the political offices of the land.  
One where science was respected and acknowledged as the way to a great future, where people didn't pollute their Earth home,
 were polite to each other and  
learned from their differences.
An America where the poor and elderly, the mentally and physically ill, weren't blamed for their situations but assisted with the most basic needs of life.  
A country where the President was respected and didn't 
make a fool of himself to all the world.

You know -- the America I wish I could leave
 to this little guy and the rest of our grandchildren. 

 I care so deeply about these issues and scramble to avoid succumbing
to negative thoughts.
So, last night after the summer crowds left for dinner we sat on the beach. 

The beach is our go-to thinking place.

We weren't alone, there were a few families left, taking photos, playing in the waves, walking purebred fancy dogs, walking mutts, speaking Spanish, speaking English.  People who were a rainbow of colors (mostly red - from sunburn!) smiling at the children (one little guy would not keep his swimsuit on!), greeting  each other
on a gorgeous clean beach, the surf in front of us, a spectacular array of clouds above, the sunset behind. 
I thought about Leonard Cohen (1934-2016), a Canadian, who wrote some pretty wonderful songs and poems about America's democracy.  He believed that the achieving of it was an ongoing thing and that democracy wouldn't be put right through governments and laws but through the protestors and left-behind workers of the heartland, the oppressed women from the deserts (Middle East), the feminists, and the real Christians, the ones who patterned their lives on Jesus. 

Sail on, sail on, he sang,
Oh mighty Ship of State!
To the Shores of Need
Past the Reefs of Greed
Through the Squall of Hate.
Sail on, sail on.

Need, greed, hate -- they are rampant and it's gonna be a rough trip.
 I do hope we make it through, and soon!

🇺🇸 🇺🇸 🇺🇸 ❤️ 🇺🇸 🇺🇸 🇺🇸
We don't have any celebration plans.  Too many traffic jams and tourists, the family picnic is in the Midwest, 1300 miles away.  We'll go to the gym, grill some turkey brats and corn on the cob, and go about our regular Tuesday business.  
Whatever you do, I hope you enjoy your day.


  1. Dear Cynthia, thank you for this posting because it so well expressed my own thoughts about our country today and how far it seems to be drifting from what I think our democracy can be. Like you, I once lived in Minnesota--for 38 years I lived in Stillwater in an 1870 lumberjack home. I've now moved to Missouri. In both places I was and am a liberal Democrat, but in Minnesota I felt more at home.

    I fear for our future right now and a friend of mine--who's 90 and began his paper route at age 8 when he also began to read the paper daily--says this is the scariest time in which he's lived. That's saying a lot. But peace begins with one so let us both try to be that one. And be part of Oneness. Peace be to you.

  2. I am sure America is completely different from Europe. Better or worse difficult to say. Love from Europe

  3. I say frequently that this isn't the country I grew up in. It isn't just Donald Trump, we've had awful and incompetent presidents before. It's attitudes, the lack of tolerance for other people and ideas we may not agree with. I glad I'm old, I fear for my country.

  4. You had some great thoughts while sitting out on the beach. Power and greed seem to have taken over. Have a great fourth of July.

  5. You picked a beautiful place for your thoughts and reflections of your country. My own country is having its own political crisis all we can do is pray for all differences to be resolved and World peace.

  6. I feel so sorry for your country and the world to have such a leader who can't unite people but only can make them ridiculous. It is a world wide problem that people are more and more intolerant to each other. I remember with melancholy the happy times we had in our youth and the open minds everybody had to look for a nice future together. That all seems to fade away now...

  7. It's all very unsettling and I fear for the children and the world they'll grow up in. They will never know how it use to be for us older folks growing up. They will miss all that. For the life of me, I cannot wrap my brain around why 38% of the people still support Trump. What has happened to decency and critical thinking? I never knew such selfishness, racism, greed, intolerance and just plain stupidity existed in such large numbers.

  8. Hear, hear! I so concur with what you wrote. Thank you! Like Mary above I can't figure out how people still support him but then I recall how Trump continues to string them along. They have falsely placed their hope in him and it's hard for them to give that up. For those of us who see him as he truly is we must continue to label him abnormal and not accept what he does ever. I'm was glad to read that President Obama has spoken up, too.

  9. Well said/written Cynthia.
    I am so pleased that I was able to visit the USA on many occasions
    before the present occupant of 1600 Penn.Ave took over.
    I certainly wouldn't be seen dead there with "TURNIP TOP" in charge.
    It is such a shame that the USA has gone from respect in the World to
    "the laughing stock" of the World and I fear worse is to come.
    God help us when the "TURNIP TOP TAXI", once known as Air Force One,
    lands in Hamburg for the G20.
    Glad that you had a peaceful if not amusing time on the beach.
    I hope the 'young stripper" was not MASON????????????

  10. We just do what we can and hope that inspires maybe one person, who will in turn inspire another. Hang in there.

  11. I get where you're coming from, Cynthia, but don't beat yourself up thinking that the US has a monopoly on stupidity. In the UK, there seems to a kind of latent aggression in places - you see it on the roads and during elections - venom I am just not used to. Reasonableness seems to be deserting us at times. Bigots to the left of me, bigots to the right; same everywhere, though. But history tells us that things change - and it could be worse; you could be living in North Korea.

  12. Great and solemn thoughts about your beliefs. Hopefully you will get to see the things you love about your country making a comeback. Greetings and best wishes!

  13. Well said Lin! I concur most heartedly.....

  14. Thank you, Cynthia. As I wander through my town I see the bunting out and the flags flying and I wonder what these people were thinking when they hung them. I couldn't bring myself to decorate for the fourth because I am so conflicted about this country and where it's headed. Like you I worry for my grandchildren, and the children who have befriended me in my neighborhood. I wish they could have similar experiences to what I had growing up in a country that was safe and free.

  15. I say frequently that this isn't the country I grew up in.