As I gaze our my window, I see winter wearing on. For many of us this natural march of the Seasons is dulled this year by the threat of a world wide pandemic and unrest here at home.
The sight of thousands of fellow Americans invading the U. S. Capital in January…smashing windows, causing 5 deaths and endangering the lives of many others…well, that was an event that people of a certain age could never imagine happening in the United States of America.
I am among those people of a certain age. So was President Ronald Reagan. In his farewell address he recalled the America in which we all grew up. Back then, we were all taught what it means to be an American. We absorbed, almost in the air, a love of country and an appreciation for its institutions. You got these things through your family, from your neighborhood, from the Father down the street who fought in Korea, or the family who had lost a loved one at Anzio. You also got a sense of patriotism from your school where each day started with a prayer and with a recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America.
Those were simple days. Those were wonderful days. Those were beautiful days. Yes, they are gone now. But, their beauty remains.
That beauty is all around us. You see it in the many people who are doing many good things. You see it in the health care workers, in the teachers, in the delivery men and women, in the restaurant workers who are still preparing delicious food for pickup.
It is in these people that you can still detect a flicker of the old days gone by and of the beauty and goodness of an America that still exists.
It is for each of us to decide how to go forward from the tragedy of that horrific day in Washington. As for me I am going to try to imitate the good people just described. I am going to try to see the good in the world and not the bad; I am going to try to love people…all people; I am going to try to be kinder; more understanding; I am going to try not to rush to judgement; I am going to try to hesitate when harsh words come to my tongue and instead I am going to try to say something warm and gentle and peaceful.
I am going to try to turn the sadness of that dark winter’s day in Washington into the glowing light and hope of Spring.
I hope you will join me as we step, together, into this new dawn.