Happy belated birthday, USA. All of this patriotism really gets one thinking about what's great and not so great about our nation.
Last fall we definitely gained a perspective shift on living in the USA. One of the happiest times of our epic adventure was crossing back into the homeland at Nogales, Arizona. After a long visit and search by border patrol, (They took our half-eaten avocado in the interests of Homeland Security. I guess because it had a stone which we could potentially throw like other people walled off by a border fence, or we might try to grow it.) we were so happy to be back on the wide smooth asphalt of the US freeway system! It was so easy to just talk to someone without having to think about Spanish translations of whatever we needed to communicate. We were filthy, stinking, flea-bitten, mosquito-devoured, dysentery-afflicted, broke, disillusioned American Refugees. We headed straight for the Catalina campground outside of Tucson, and it was the most delightful overnight stay since we last stayed in Arizona on the way to Mexico. Free drinking water from a faucet! Restroom and shower facilities much cleaner and nicer than anything we experienced in Mexico.
We loved our Mexican adventure and I believe it was just the first tryst of a budding affair with Latin America.
Back here in our (stolen) chunk of North America, it seems a land of mixed blessings and contradictions. Clearly the US is headed down a road of trouble. Her power as a leader of the world is fading. Every system is strained and breaking. The diseases of over-consumption take a heavy toll.
My most patriotic day ever was election night 2008. As the results became clear that America had voted for change and hope, I and many others believed we could be on the way to righting this floundering nation. It seemed like a new generation of voter had stood up to demand change. The excitement and spontaneous celebration was intoxicating.
Now it seems our jubilation was premature. Our tax dollars are still funneled into senseless wars. Politics, corporations, and corruption continue as usual. We still can not afford medical or dental care. Nothing has really improved. The only vague sparkle is the little plug Mrs. Obama gave to organic gardening with her White House Garden. Thanks Mrs. First Lady.
Thanks to this beautiful land for endless vistas of beauty, "purple mountain majesty, amber waves of grain, fruited plains," beautiful beaches, (those not covered by oil) .....I'm thankful to have been born here. This is a land of opportunity and I hope to find my opportunity to make positive change; to contribute to a just, balanced, peaceful society worthy of this great land.