I Lift My Lamp Beside the Golden Door

I LIFT MY LAMP BESIDE THE GOLDEN DOOR and other random thoughts today on the first day of President Obama’s term…

Yesterday. A day like no other in the history of The United States of America. Thoughts, perhaps not as random as I think, stream through my head today like a great door has been thrown open. And I begin to see the “lamp beside the golden door”… the lamp of freedom and knowledge and responsibility.

“Your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free” may now breathe in from the depths of their souls. It has been proven.

Like Horace Mann, who believed that “education, beyond all other devices of human origin, is the great equalizer of the conditions of men”… we see clearly the truth in his beliefs.

As fellow passengers on this great new journey with our new President, we “ride on a limited express… hurtling across the prairie into blue haze”… we are going somewhere. And, “Conductor, when you receive a fare, punch in the presence of a passenger.” All aboard!

Sometimes, one good head is better than a hundred strong hands

Always searching for freedom.

A BLACK MAN TALKS OF REAPING by Arna Bontemps… “I have sown beside waters in my day. I planted deep, within my heart the fear that wind or fowl would take my grain away. I planted safe against this stark, lean year. I scattered seed enough to plant the land in rows from Canada to Mexico. But for my reaping only what the hand can hold at once is all that I can show. Yet what I sowed and what the orchard yields my brother’s sons are gathering stalk and root; small wonder my children glean in fields they have not sown, and feed on bitter fruit.” Could it be that these injustices are gone?

What is our resolve? Peace. Equality. Freedom. Are we now there?

Can the diligent and sensible now rise to the top as the lazy and quarrelsome sink?

Destinations. Slavery. Sowing our seeds. Land of the free and home of the brave. Who determines our paths?

They were strong children, promising as apples/Before the bitten places show… let’s never,ever have another bitten apple child.

The great secret in life is that we are all connected to each other. We are all searching. For ourselves. For a way of expressing ourselves. For our goals. The truth. For each other.

There is something called the Greenup. That fleeting time of Fall when the apple harvest in initiated. When flavor is supreme, peerless, consummate. Texture is strong, resolute, firm. Aroma is fragrant, distinctive, pungent even. Greenup-time is prime time for gathering, cooking, eating apples. Is this the Greenup time for our Country?

Even the smallest degree of hope is sufficient to cause the birth of love… and I think this applies to our Country as well.

Grace and Tolerance, folks.

“If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours”… my favorite, Henry David Thoreau.

“Here once the embattled farmers stood/And fired the shot heard round the world.” In 5th grade, I recited The Concord Hymn and delivered it to the entire school during a recital. I have never forgotten the words, and I think of them today in great awe…

“I Hear America Singing”… I celebrate with Walt Whitman the joyous view of the indomitable American spirit. I celebrate the hard work and exuberance of each tradesman, each person, contributing to the spirit of a renewed and proud nation.

Today, “I yield myself to the perfect whole” of America… my Country. I, like so many, many others, am a great-grandchild of immigrants who traveled on hope alone to a new continent… far, far from their homelands and families. Hope. Advancing quietly and confidently in the direction of their dreams.

Today I am filled to the brim with hope… I am overflowing with hope. May God Bless America and may President Obama be blessed with strength and wisdom… and be enlightened by the wordsmiths our nation has sent before him.

I Lift My Lamp Beside the Golden Door was last modified: February 9th, 2010 by Sharon Couto
SHOWHIDE Comments (2)
  1. Beautiful, Sharon. Like you, I thought as an English teacher in terms of literature to describe this momentous occasion. In the words of Maya Angelou:
    “Out of the huts of history’s shame
    I rise
    Up from a past that’s rooted in pain
    I rise
    I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,
    Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
    Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
    I rise
    Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
    I rise
    Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
    I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
    I rise”

    The dreams and hope of this new day fill my heart in ways that I could never describe.

I Lift My Lamp Beside the Golden Door was last modified: February 9th, 2010 by Sharon Couto