Wednesday, July 4, 2018
Was it a bird or Big Bird?
Jefferson Barracks Park ( a former military installation) is near our home. I feel overwhelming
sadness when we drive past the thousands of tombstones decorated with American flags in the National Cemetery. I am proud of those who gave their lives or fought for our freedom. But the image leaves a heaviness in my heart.
We have often gone to JB Park for a variety of events, concerts, fireworks, or just to see the wild deer roaming in the evening. When my 21 year old grandson Austin was less than two years old, I took his mom, my mom, and his sister to a Native American Pow Wow in the park.
Austin was a smart, observant little guy with a good vocabulary. When he saw this little fella kicking up his heels and dancing, Austin darted for him and yelled, "Bird!"
Feathers...his frame of reference. I darted right after him. Although this was a serious ceremony, we were invited to join in the circle dance with the group. I have no official proof, but my dad and his brothers all claimed to have Native American ancestry. I grabbed Austin's hand and we joined the group. For a moment I felt a profound connection to my late dad and "our" people as we shuffle stepped side to side.
On this Independence Day I am saddened by U.S. and world events, and I wonder why we can't be more inclusive and invite others to partake of our abundance. With the heart of a child, if we would all reach out in love and acceptance. Let the children lead...