While some celebrate long awaited hot summer temperatures, or a having a lemonade watching a parade or family gatherings, Americans like to celebrate! And so we do.
I celebrated the diversity of my clientele, friends and family. The roof over my head in this country, the food from our farms. I celebrated my rights to conduct business and work as hard as I want and to raise my family free of anyone else beliefs. I celebrated my relatives who have given their time and lives to military service. I celebrated my right to vote and for being as I would any other Fourth of July.
For all the 4th of July celebrations I can remember and there are many, I can not recall one where we felt we shouldn’t be happy, set off fireworks, wave flags and be grateful for where we live. We have never needed someone to give us permission, not a person, a politic party or ideology, not a religion to entice us, WE the collective, have always felt proud to be citizens of our Country where FREEDOMS were recognized.
Maybe my perspective is different since I grew up in Philadelphia steeped in history where I visited the original places our founders gathered crafting the Declaration of Independence, The Constitution of the United States of American and all the traditions that make this Country what it is, a consortium of individuals across a great land coming together to form a Nation. “We The People” still rings out. The fabric of our Flag weaves us together providing the right to sit, stand or kneel all in the same.
No matter our differences WE celebrate. Setting aside differences, we are a creative bunch of rebels! This, in spite that some of our founders having been slave owners shown prejudice of worthiness. In spite of the atrocities done to the Native peoples of this land, and in the continuation of those horrible injustices. I bare witness to this on going issue having been a guest to numerous current day Reservations. And now we face the family separation of refugee children.
Yet somehow, Americans continue as a group, a tribe if you will even if a “hot mess”. To those in other countries we might seem a brash People that take for granted our bounty, opportunities, or blessings and our mixed beliefs. But in the eyes of those above, We are a strong people that can overcome many adversaries, right the wrongs, fight the good fight, so we continue to be a promising haven or garden to plant dreams and see fruits of labor prosper. There is no abundance without participation.
Let’s not forget that WE, no matter our differences are a place where that promise, that gift of growth can take place even when weeds would hope to divide. The Statue of Liberty stands as a beacon of hope. Many, many people past by her, many of our own relatives and ancestors, mine included.
As in the years past I celebrate our Independence knowing that every difficulty is transitory and Evolution as in revolution will continue to cultivate the soil of good will and prosperity. Let the good and true seeds be planted and spout positive outcomes so that our original premise rise above the darken shadows. Let PEACE be our mantra and our true greatness be in resolute true kindness towards one anther and justice for all!
Happy Fourth of July, Independence Day.
about the author: Karen Ollis is an experienced photographer specializing in studio portraiture, and environmental on-location portraits for editorial stories, PR and marketing testimonials. instagram @ollisphoto