Here I am on July 4th, Independence Day here in the U.S. No big plans today except to go watch the city’s fireworks tonight.
I’m a sucker for all the holiday accoutrements, though, on any holiday. So I’m wearing red capris and a blue t-shirt with some white print on it. It’s only a matter of time until I own a Christmas sweater, I suppose.
I had some actual paper letters to mail and the temperature was pleasant, so I walked to the post office this morning. Here’s the part where I say what I love about this country, and more specifically the location of my home. On my 2-mile round-trip to the post office from my house, I passed a public library, a public school, a Baptist Church, an antiquarian book seller, an auto mechanic, a bicycle store, a School of Metaphysics, a Vietnamese restaurant, a Mediterranean restaurant, an Indian restaurant/grocery and an old-fashioned diner where the menu is heavy on biscuits-n-gravy type fair.
Here are a few places I didn’t pass this morning, but are within a mile of my house: a Mosque, a Unity Church, a Christian Science Church and a community center that has programs for residents who live in public housing, and a brew-pub.
I don’t always think about it, what a richness of experience and culture is all around me. But I noticed this morning. I thought about it, walking along in my red, white and blue. This is what the United States is about. This is the kind of thing that stirs my feelings of loyalty and love for my country. So many people from so many different backgrounds, and here we are together, making a city, a community, supporting our public libraries and public schools.
I know many towns and communities are a lot more homogeneous, but my midwestern metropolis has a population of only about 120,000. So it doesn’t take a huge urban area to live the dream. This is the American dream I want for myself and my kids — one that includes a place for all of us.