Tuesday, August 19, 2008

America, the Dream Goes On

I was proud of my country today. It felt really nice. I’ve always been pretty patriotic. Fourth of July was always a big deal for us growing up. I’ve felt patriotism – not the “Support-Our-Troops”-yellow ribbon magnet kind of way. The loving-your-country-the way-you-love-your-family kind. Today I was reminded a little bit of why.

On our way home from a family weekend in New Hampshire, we detoured off the anonymous interstate and made a trip down the Kancamangus Highway, a true, hairpin-turning, river-following mountain pass, which leads up and over the White Mountains for 32 miles from Conway to Lincoln, NH. At its beginning you’re already at a pretty good elevation but slowly, those pretty mountain peaks in the distance get closer until they’re beside you and even the clouds are below you.

I was struck by the absolute beauty, the granite outcroppings, the sun’s rays on the sheer cliffs, and the myriad, winding streams begging you to abandon your car and explore. And you want to know what’s really amazing? You can! This area is owned and protected by the National Forest Service and it’s ours! Not for housing, fossil fuels, timeshares, or lumber.

It’s our backyard. And it’s there for exploring; for hiking and biking through hundreds of thousands of square acres. For swimming in mountain stream-fed icy ponds. Or just for driving through. It’s for our animals, too. Every animal to be found in the northeast is there. Did you know we’ve got moose, and bears, deer and foxes, hawks and trout, beavers and bald eagles, and so many more? I didn’t because I don’t pay attention to that stuff.

Thank God someone’s paying attention. And that someone is actually our government. Maybe today it doesn’t seem like a focus, aside from what these areas can do for us (yes, Mr. President; I’m talking to you). But back in 1918, we were smart enough to realize the inherent value of this land and protect it. And some part of our government is still focused on it today. And that makes me proud.

When I got home, I cut our lawn. Because you take care of what’s yours. And maybe, just maybe, that’s my way of helping my American Dream, my Dream of America, go on.


Denise said...

America, the Beautiful! Sounds like you had a great weekend. It's still raining here, but I am thankful. :o)

Sue @ My Party of 6 said...

What a great post! My husband would love to drive with you. I would be gripping the armrest and begging for valium!

Elle said...

That brought back memories.. I haven't been down that road in so long. My mother would always make sure we had plenty of food before we left because she was always afraid we'd break down and be lost, like no one else would ever drive by. LOL!

flutter said...

I love this!

JCK said...

What a lovely post, MM. There really is something about being in nature - to connect to oneself and one's country. Especially one as beautiful as our's.

Limbic Resonance said...

Wow. I haven't had reaction like that in awhile...now I'm all nostalgic for that road, camping, and hiking up Mt. Washington. I never did make it to the top. Some day we'll have to take Peanut up!

Tootsie Farklepants said...

I've got some neighbors that I should send this blog post to. About the cutting the lawn and taking care of what is yours part, at least.

MommyCosm said...

Stumbled here through WW.

I was in Lincoln, NH with my family on Sunday and Monday. It was a gorgeous drive to/from and reminded me of summers when I was a child.

Robin said...

We just spent August in New England, mostly in NH, and I couldn't agree more - what an absolutely magical corner of the earth. The green, the water, the mountains... When I got home to Israel yesterday everything looked brown and dusty by comparison! Ok, so there'd been a dust storm and it was in fact fairly brown and dusty but still, the comparison was shocking.

PS Here via AM :-).


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