Theme Thursday: Freedom

Linking up with Clan Donaldson for Theme Thursday.  Don't nobody do themes like Cari do themes!



ISO 200, f/1.8
Once Upon a Time and Vintage Storybook actions for Photoshop
courtesy of the Coffeeshop Blog


Once a month on a Saturday, my town holds an antique car show.  Owners cruise in and park with their hoods up, camp out in lawn chairs, chat with passers-by and admirers, and drink cold beers from the nearby hot dog stand.  You can almost hear the satisfaction, audible as their sighs after a deep swig of amber, "Ah. . .  It's a great day to be in America."

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Two days ago, I heard my husband singing aloud to my son, a not uncommon occurrence, but the tune gave me pause--he was singing the US national anthem, and he knew the words!  I was incredibly touched.

"I didn't know you knew the words to that song!"  I grinned like a patriotic jack-o-lantern.

There are many things about my country that my husband doesn't understand.  It was hard for him living here.  So much of our attitude is make-your-own-way, pull-yourself-up-by-your-bootstraps, and finding worth in what is accomplished.  Something we're so accustomed to--I oftentimes have to check myself to remember that our productivity is not what gives us value as human beings: if that were so, where would the unborn child, the elderly, the handicapped, and the injured look for dignity?  No, our worth is in God and rests with Him, and in that way is not dependent upon anything we Do, but rather only that we Are.

Once I was speaking with my (literal) English professor, who mentored me in my Master's thesis back in Wales, and commented on some trial or another: "Well, you do what you have to do."

We were walking in the high fields in the west of town, and he stopped and smiled and said, "How very American.  You do what you have to do.  Yes, I quite like that.  We could stand to have more attitudes like that."

No, it's not a bad characteristic, this Protestant work ethic that allows us to accomplish great things and made us one of the greatest countries in the world.  But it can be dangerous if our philosophy isn't whole.

Still, I know despite his distaste for the lack of a welfare state, the fondness we have for guns, and his general jealousy for the greatness that is America (no, I'm not being facetious), my husband holds a grudging respect for my country; for the environment and bloodlines that fed into the people who stood up to the British, at a time when it was The Bees Knees of empires, and who passed that along in their culture for over two centuries.  As someone born and raised in Wales his entire life, he appreciates that.

Maybe what he likes about the song "Star Spangled Banner" is that hope and resilience--the drive to move ever onward, forward, to take a quiet pride in human resourcefulness and a blustering affection for future generations.  The stubborn American way of refusing to quit, of accomplishing the impossible.  Of the country who wasn't afraid to say, "There is a God, and it matters."

Or what is more likely, in his own words: "It has a nice tune."  Happy Independence Day, anyway!

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8 comments:

  1. A wonderful reflection and picture. Thank you.

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  2. That picture is so Americana. Love the story of your husband, and "there is a God and it matters." Awesome.

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    1. "Americana" is just the word I was going for (and inconveniently forgot about). xD

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  3. Patriotic jack o lantern. I think I do that. My kids call it my scary smile. Well done.

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    1. Haha, how's that for muddling holidays?

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  4. What a gorgeous picture. Wow. Really great story as well.

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