The Sun did not crest the ridge this morning, sending those usual streaks of beautifully vivid reds and pinks across the horizon in widening bands. I don’t know what ever happened to the old sailor’s adage of “Red at night, sailors delight; red in morning, sailor’s warning”, because the evening skies last night was a lofty palette of varying shades of pink, so it doesn’t seem to hold true for us “land lubbers”, that’s for sure.
Today will be a beautiful day, except that it’s a little breezy, cool and quite overcast. This morning was a beautiful gift, as the sun arose over the distant hills and the Hudson River. Even though we could not see its usual ascent, we knew it was there...just as we knew our freedom to do as we pleased was still here. I wondered back to the 1800’s and envisioned Thomas Cole or Asher Durand, standing in the clove at Haines Falls or maybe, Frederick Church as he gazed at the tranquil Hudson River from his studio in Olana...perched high on the ridge... Surely they were awe struck by nature’s beauty, every bit as much and as often as Vicki and I. And I’m sure they enjoyed and relished the freedoms afforded them by Patriots of their times.
Asher Durand's " Kindred Spirits" Portrays Thomas Cole and poet William Cullen Bryant in a Catskills landscape
Nothing has changed in those one hundred fifty some years, except for the hustle and bustle folks place upon themselves, but the freedom to explore and do as we please is still ours...... the beauty of nature is still there, still unspoiled, except for expansions of new roads and a few new homesteads build out in the sticks, as their occupants try to escape the aforementioned mistakes of over zealous entrepreneurs of years gone by. Occasionally, Vicki and I take a day to go to these very places and stand where these great artists once stood; viewing the very same landscapes we now look at. They spent time looking, enjoying, memorizing and painting or sketching what they knew would capture the world, as it had them. They were correct! The Catskills and Hudson River Valley is as beautiful a place as God ever created. And just as Thomas Cole, Frederick Church or Vicki Alderman-Watt captured or captures that beauty, it will live on long after the artists are gone and we are all the richer for their gift to humanity.
Tomorrow we will again celebrate Memorial Day 2011. Have fun with family and friends, but remember the meaning of the day...remember those who cannot be with us as we celebrate tomorrow. We have parades, barbeques and picnics as we celebrate our freedom and the beginning of summer, which is great, but let’s make sure that the real meaning of the day is not forgotten or overshadowed by all the partying. Please remember those who fought for those freedoms, but most of all...REMEMBER those who paid the ultimate price for our freedom...those brave soldiers who gave their lives for our freedom!
Celebrate and enjoy the day! Keep the day and those who bought it for us, forever in our memories and hearts with gratitude and appreciation every day of the year! This includes being observant tomorrow...but also every day of the year, to preserve the present given us...their present of freedom, which was bought and paid for with their lives. Remember them...their sacrifices and do whatever possible to preserve them by becoming more alert to what our government is giving away. Don’t let our President, Congress and others give away what our soldiers died for!
Memorial Day will be here tomorrow...PLEASE be reverent to those bestowing that gift upon us and ask God’s continual blessings unto them.
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