Invitation to Beauty: America

I read in an article last week by an author who’s name I can’t remember in a magazine, but I don’t remember which one. I haven’t been able to find it as a reference.

The author believed, like many other Americans, that we are in a time of turmoil and strife in this country. People’s hopes are dashed and their dreams shattered. The solution would be to re-imagine our country. It sounds good, poetic, but what does this really mean?

I started to break it down for myself. Re- to do something again; imagine- to create a picture or image in your mind. Do we need to create a knew image for America? If so what’s wrong with the old image?

Our Constitution and it’s amendments still seem pretty beautiful to me. It is a living breathing document which has proven it’s ability to grow as we grow as a country.

Evidence of beauty that I have experienced or witnessed:

Shoppers all rushed to take care of a grocery bill for a young woman in a headscarf who had difficulty with English, and our currency; while she stood with tears in her eyes, from frustration no doubt but probably in reaction to their spontaneous generosity.

Nameless faces in a crowd all moving in subconscious unison to break the slow motion fall of an elderly man and catch him before he hits the concrete.

Thousands marching in the streets carrying signs against hatred and bigotry and “You are welcome here.”

A turkey for my family’s holiday meal and gifts for our kids when after being medically retired but not yet receiving my pay we fell to a financial and emotional low. That year we saw the angels at Christmas.

Evidence of beauty I have heard about:

A thousand soldiers reaching out, “You are not my enemy.”

A million kind words.

Arms reaching out, palm extended, lets see if we can find some common ground.

Tumultuous times? No doubt, but has it really ever been otherwise. These and a billion others are the images we can hold in our minds. I know you have your own as well.

Do we need to reimagine?

Or scrutinize the images we already have. Hold on to the beauty and discard the rest as we move through our country’s next cycle of, sometimes violent, change.


About Frances Wiedenhoeft

After a lifetime in nursing, anesthesia and the Army I now write, blog, attend school for journalism and massage, and watch my 3 grandchildren. I am a veteran of Desert Storm, Iraq and Afghanistan and try to serve other vets such as myself, and to work for peace.
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