Monday, August 8, 2011

The Beauty and Power that is U.S.

A little over two weeks ago I set out on an adventure with my two children. I had signed up for a workshop/retreat with Christine Kane who is an entrepreneurial coach - no, as she puts it she is a "mentor to women who are changing the world".

Yes'M. That'd be me. (There are some things that I know about courage and I think that it is about time I let loose with the secret.)

So, because the retreat was in North Carolina, and because of 47 other reasons, one of which being some excellent homeschooling opportunities on the way, I packed up my teens and headed out.


Yes, we drove. One of the educational opportunities taken by my daughter was to learn to play Navigator. She learned to read directions (TripTiks are great, but not all at once. She learned to ply me with only certain, shorthand amounts of information at a time), make sense of maps (red roads, blue roads and the like), and even use her pinkie to estimate distances. She's been awesome since the day she was born. 12 days of car and hotel room proximity were further proof.

Views of US: The Tappan Zee Bridge in New York.

I grew up near here, and am still delighted by its length, and math. The mid-river perspective of the banks of the Hudson are really too lovely to be appreciate while driving. Bummer.

Views of US: Virginia Highway
Views of US: The Virginia Mountains
It was a little hot and hazy in VA, so we couldn't see the mountains in the far distance, but as we got near I was thrilled. Up close and personal they were soul strengthening. Really beautiful.

Views of US: A Map of US c. 1774 (at Colonial Williamsburg)

Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Delaware and New Jersey look much the way we expect to see them today, but you'll notice that Maine is a wee, squish of a thing, and New Hampshire and Vermont seem to not have come into the picture yet, perhaps on account of the map-drawer allotting an awful lot of pink to New York. Pennsylvania is only slightly misshapen form our modern maps and I am absolutely either amused or horrified by the straight lines, east to forever, for Virginia, The Carolinas, and Georgia.

"Hi, I'll take my portion straight across here."

Kinda tells us a lot about the mindset of the Europeans on this continent: 20,000 years of history on North America ... GONE. (And yes, I am completely aware that my great...grandparents, on both sides, were some of those Europeans.) They talk that way still -in Washington DC - that the history of this country began with a bunch of folk from across the Atlantic in the 1500's. I think that I keep dragging on about all this to somehow figure out if my children's Asian ancestors were on this continent before mine. I mean, they were. It is just that the history books keep forgetting to mention it.

Well, anyway, The Capitol of US captured all of our hearts and minds. For me, the thought that has gone into the beauty and symbolism of the architecture of Washington is stunning. I could look at it for a very long time.

Views of US: The Capitol Building in Washington DC

Views of US: Lady Freedom on top of The Capitol Building

I grew up near New York and Lady Liberty has long been a favorite of mine. Now I have a new friend.

Views of US: Cousin Barack's House

So, um, yes. Cousin Barack and I have mutual great...grandparents. My guess is that there are several million people with a relationship less multiplied and removed than mine, but hey, it makes our visit to WDC all the more personal. :)

Views of US: Hot in DC

Yeah, yeah, I've already mentioned that, but see? Even the panda thought so. (How cute are pandas??)

Views of US: Power and Beauty

So, since our road trip, my own journey to my own power and beauty has become more clear and more worthy. I still feel honored to have been able to spend those four days with Christine. There is a reason for all of this. It makes me work harder to be worthy of it all. To be worthy of my children. There is so much for us to learn. Homeschooling never stops.