Thursday, April 24, 2014

Skywatch Friday: Nothing Like a Friday Morning

Each day is a new wonder, inevitably.  On this day, my daughter woke me up to make sure I joined her, her friend, and the pups for the sunrise.  We jumped into our clothes and onto our bicycles with the dogs in the baskets so that we could get there on time.  We made it, and we found ourselves among many others doing the same thing.  Among those others were a few dozen young Marines running like a silent wind to the pier and back.  Even Maeve stepped aside to let them go silently by.  What day isn't a beauty-filled miracle?

Skywatch Friday

Monday, April 21, 2014

Our World Tuesday: Long Remembering what They Did There

My daughter's friend had never been to Gettysburg (and didn't know what it was), so there we went on the way home last week.  It is a powerful place, vibrating with the spirit of the men who fought there 151 years ago.  
We watched the 20-minute History Channel video "New Birth of Freedom" narrated by Morgan Freeman before we visited the cyclorama painted by Frenchman Paul Philippoteaux in the 1880s.  Both the video and the narration that accompanies the viewing of the painting in the round make the point that the Civil War was ultimately a war about the value of the individual and that "a great thing had been done" for us in the defense and preservation of the Union.

President Lincoln himself did many great things during the Civil War, including essentially rewriting the Constitution to include all men.  The Reconstruction Amendments and others that followed ultimately extended and amplified the Constitution to make it applicable to all Americans.  President Lincoln cleared the way by continuing a conversation begun by our Founders.  
If it weren't for the Union victory at Gettysburg at for President Lincoln's deft wording of his Gettysburg Address, the conversation might have ended.  

Kids should know this and be amazed that it is possible to shape the nature of democracy with a few well- chosen words at the right time and in the right spirit.  With our rights and freedoms comes the responsibility to live as informed citizens mindfully living in a ways that honor the great things done for us.  Lincoln said so, and his words apply to us today as they did to our war-weary forebears a century and a half ago. 
The Gettysburg dead are surrounded by soldiers who fought in other wars. Little is said in this National Cemetery.  It is an awesome place.  Gettysburg is very much about seeing the United States of America in ourselves and each other.  Freedom is not a concept here but the hearts that beat, and have beat, for you.  The graves and the fields of battle at Gettysburg are a reminder that freedom, like power, will always be contested and will always be worth fighting for.

Our World Tuesday 

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Today's Flowers: Sunday Sunshine

These yellow beauties are called some kind of rose that isn't a rose.  They were gracing the day at the Bellamy Mansion in Wilmingtno, North Carolina, last week.

Today's Flowers

Monday, April 14, 2014

Our World Tuesday: Pelican Order

Early this morning, I could see pelicans in the distance merging from severeal points to form a line.  For once, I didn't fumble for my camera; I waited.  These are some elegant birds who sure do know how to play together.
Our World Tuesday