Heading out on a motorcycle trip from Michigan’s Thumb region to Montana, and back again, I was struck by how great a country we live that we can just up and go explore if we choose. There is a lot of beauty out there to fill your eyes, and soul with if you can get out the door. You can see people participating in just about any activity under the sun; if it is legal, and makes them happy, then they can pursue it. If is not legal, then they risk a penalty. Sometimes there is a penalty even if the activity is legal to perform. My fishing buddy, and motorcycle riding father-in-law slowed as children clambered onto a bridge West of Munising to watch children do “cannonballs”, into the river below that drained into Michigan‘s Lake Superior. With video games, and computers in every home, I was led to believe that this kid of stuff was left behind in the 70′s. The beach near Au Train was stuff full of people, with cars lining the road as people filled in all the available beach sand to bask in Northern Michigan‘s slice of sunshine. It was as if you could envision “Lady Liberty” herself stepping down from her pedestal to dip her toes in the water.
I could see her on the beach, with her spiked tiara holding her bangs in place while the lake breeze blew her long brown hair back in feathery strands. She stood for a moment near the mouth of the river, watching with blazing blue eyes, as the children played and dove into the water. You could see a smirk forming on her lips, as the squeals of delight forced her smile to broaden into a complete smile exposing pearly white teeth. As she nodded her approval.
It wasn’t long before some teenagers invited her over by the volleyball net.
“Hey, Liberty! We need another player. You in?” They asked hopefully.
Her blue eyes sparkle as she takes off her robe revealing her bathing suit that barely conceals her tatoo’s. On one shoulder are all the names of those who served her under a banner which read, “Those who will not be forgotten.” The other shoulder have the names of those who hindered her under a banner that read, “You ARE forgotten.” Liberty has a wicked spike, and a mean serve, which helped her team win the game. Once it was done she took a stroll down the beach listening to her I-pod. No doubt playing all her favorite patriotic songs.
I saw Liberty throughout the whole ten-day trip. She was hiking down the road in the mountains. She was fishing in the boat next to us; laughing with happiness when she hooked a nice trout.
We saw her in Minot, N.D. with the cleanup efforts taking place from the flooding. No doubt, each sad, sad story causing a wound that would take time to heal. Despite the pain, her blue eyes flashed with determination as she nodded with approval as folks in the area agreed on the best methods to remove the water, and breakdown the levies used to hold the water back. She had a strong shoulder to cry on when folks needed it, and comforting hands to hold when consoling those who lost everything… encouraging them. Because with Liberty, you feel like you can get it all back.
She was down the road, where petroleum was being extracted from the ground with a relatively, and somewhat controversial new technique, promising to make America strong, and independent again. She was in the restaurants and stores where folks built, and rebuilt their own businesses, and their lives. She wiped the sweat from her brow as she pedaled across the plains during the heat wave. She stood with her bible, and torch, after another tourist asked to take her picture in the Beartooth Pass as she posed before the amazing Mountain views.
Liberty was everywhere we rode, and places we did not. In courtrooms, studio’s, board meetings, pet shops, on the farms, in the little house on the prairies, and the big ones, too. Liberty may have some scars, but she bears them with pride. When you take the time to notice her, not just on her pedestal, but everywhere you look, you realize that Liberty is not only beautiful… She is GORGEOUS! And she stands proud all over the nation.