On recent trips across West Virginia, I saw the following sights that make me hopeful for the future of this state and our country:
Boys carrying fishing poles in the early morning haze, heading for a small pond.
Three children carrying buckets, picking blackberries.
An elderly man out in his yard in the evening, surveying his burgeoning garden.
A young man changing a flat tire for an older woman.
The lady who held the door for me at a store and smiled and called me "Sweetie."
A man picking up a penny in a parking lot.
Two rather round women hugging each other in a carport (apparently one had just arrived), while on their driveway bridge three children were stretched out, looking down into the creek.
Carefully staked tomatoes, tousling corn, and beans ready to pick in a hillside garden.
Signs outside modest country homes that say "FRESH EGGS", "Rhubarb Seeds," and "Produse".
A couple sitting on a porch swing, comfortably watching traffic pass by just beyond the yard of their well-maintained home.
Simple sights, people going about everyday tasks or enjoying the bliss of a summer day in this Mountain State. We take such goodness for granted, don't we? But these simple things are the stuff of life, the connections that make us whole and healthy.
Further away, in southern West Virginia, I also saw sights of deadly destruction, and yet even there I saw so much to make me proud to be part of this state. Hundreds of people out helping each other, digging mud, tearing down broken homes, cleaning out flooded basements, standing and talking, sometimes hugging. Everywhere were the helpers: the police, the National Guard, firefighters, Red Cross, volunteers of all ages. America is still great, filled with ordinary people who rise to greatness when the need is there.
We have much to be proud of here, much to be thankful for, and much work to be done to assure that every one of us is safe, respected, and cared for. But we can do that. We have always been a great nation.
Copyright Susanna Holstein. All rights reserved. No Republication or Redistribution Allowed without attribution to Susanna Holstein.