Beginner's Heart

via google

via google

For some reason, if you’re not unconditionally in love with America, you’re not considered patriotic. In fact, I’ve been accused (more than once) of being anti-American.

That couldn’t be farther from the truth. In the same way that those who love you know your foibles best, I am all too well aware of America’s imperfections. The news is full of them on a daily basis.

But I’m also proud of her many many accomplishments, which are amazing. Most of us can vote. All of us can go to school, free! We have roads to faraway places that used to take months to travel to — I remember hearing my grandmother talking about coming from Texas to Oklahoma in a wagon. Wow.

We have the most beautiful country in the world: the Pacific Northwest’s green & silver rivers, the grasslands of Oklahoma beneath its endless sky, the blue mountain ridges of Appalachia. The deltas and islands that float on water. The birds that flicker like their own small fireworks through trees. Deer and bison and fox and wolf. Bear and mountain lion. Raptor & songbird.

And everywhere, the still-living dream of success, however you define that: a higher education, a dream job, a home. Yes, there are flaws in all these scenarios, for many Americans. But it remains a good place to live, and a good place to work to make better.

This Fourth of July, take a moment to list what you love about America. Even if you’re often exasperated with her, I guarantee you the good things will far outnumber the not-so-good!

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