Jul 04

Freedom

independence-day-july-fourth-1I snuck out the door this 4th of July morning as the sun was still coming up.  The Wife and kids still tucked away in bed likely thinking about the colorful parade and bountiful cookout that would fill their Independence Day.  With my ear buds in and my injured foot nursed back to about 85%, I started out into the humid morning air on a short three-mile tempo run as I continue to build toward my marathon that now lurks just about 100 days away.

Today’s route took me through the downtown section of our quiet little village.  The streets were already lined with collapsible picnic chairs that people used to claim their little section of sidewalk for the upcoming festivities.  I watched a street sweeper go by and to clear some of the debris from the concrete.  The local garden club was out tending to the flowers that line Main Street (yeah… it’s that kind of town).  Plucking, pruning and feeding it the water needed to survive.

As I turned the corner off the main drag, my path took me through one of the historic neighborhoods where I live.  On both sides of the still quiet street stand these houses that read more like architectural pieces of art with a sign on each proclaiming the year of its birth.  1857.  1868.  1833.  The next one even more beautiful than the one before.  The well manicured lawns, like the flowers on Main, being fed the water that they need to thrive.

I pushed through the final few turns, the throb of my foot now trying to out do my heart on every pump.  As I passed the imaginary finish line just in front of my driveway and stopped the timer on my wrist, I took a deep breath, stretched out the spots that ailed me most, and quietly made my way back inside.  I grabbed the biggest cup I could find and, by-passing the loud clunk of the ice maker on the door, quietly filled it with ice from inside.  I filled it to the top and took a big gulp before setting it on the counter.  I ran downstairs to “my bathroom” and splashed some cold water on my face and neck to rinse away the strangely satisfying salty by-product of this humid morning.

Back upstairs, I grabbed my cup and took it out to the porch to enjoy a few more minutes of morning air before a shower would mark the official start to my day.  I sat there for a while thinking about Independence Day and all the amazing blessings that I have.  I thought about the fact that, no matter how tough times get for me in this life, the dumb luck of simply being born in this country at this time in history already stacks the deck in my favor.  Despite attempts from media and politicos from both sides of the aisle to convince us otherwise, we are blessed with freedoms and liberties like nowhere else on the planet.  And, though this may seem like a clumsy and ham-handed attempt to push my own agenda, my run this morning reminded me again about how blessed we are in this country with life-giving resource of water.

While other people in this world walk miles and miles for but a taste of contaminated river water… we use it to feed our flowers… our lawns… our pets….

While children in the world can’t go to school because they have to spend their days gathering enough water just to stay alive… today, all over our country, our children will swim in it, Slip N Slide on it, and pump it into balloons to toss at one another…

The same amount of water that could keep an entire family alive and thriving… we use to keep our hair clean…

While the 4th of July presents a wonderful opportunity to be thankful for the amazing blessings we have in this country, I’d ask you to just take five minutes to think about some of the life-giving things that don’t fall under the Bill of Rights.  Be thankful not only for the freedom that our forefathers gave to us, but be thankful for the freedom that you can grant to others.

God BlessED America.

You can bless the world.

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If you’d like to make a tax-deductible donation to my efforts to, along with the amazing folks at Team World Vision, bring freedom to communities in Africa through the gift of clean water, please visit THIS PAGE for more information.

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