Sunday, July 4, 2010

Remembering Where We Came From

It's Gratitude Sunday ... and also the 4th of July.  Seems like the two go together.  I've always been grateful to live in this country and feel like the taxes I pay are the best money I spend even if some of it goes for things I wish it didn't.  However, Gratitude Sunday is supposed to be about *new* gratitudes so I had to look a little deeper to find the gratitude that I haven't thought about or expressed.

It came as I was walking this morning and realized how grateful I should be ... and am ... for the four people who many long  years ago risked everything for a dream.  I'm not sure who they were, when they came or exactly where they came from.  I don't know if they came as couples or single people taking their chances in a new land.  I am relatively sure I know pieces of their stories ... a hard crossing of a vast ocean, little money, little education, little to depend upon once they reached this land except their wits and faith in the opportunity.

I don't know if they came before or after The Statue of Liberty was in place (1886) but it is likely that some of them entered through Ellis Island and may have seen her welcoming presence and read her comforting words:
Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!
I hope some of them at least read those words as they headed out into unknown futures that would weave together to create, among many, the new life that is me.  I am grateful for their risk-taking.  I am grateful for my country that has shown as a beacon to the world's tired and poor.  May we remember our beginnings in all that we do.

A special thank you to Louise at Recover Your Joy, a Canadian who writes very beautifully about our national birthday.

Happy 4th of July to all ... and may it bring peace to our hearts.


  1. And I am grateful for my neighbours to the south who remind me -- greatest is our birthright.

    And I am grateful for this electronic place where I have met such amazing folk as you and Maureen and Diane!



  2. I told Louise she should be awarded an Honorary American certificate.

    Thank you, dear friend. It's been lovely traveling with you these past few months. Hope you had a wonderful 4th.