America the Beautiful
This is a grand and beautiful country we live in. Before I first turned my key in the ignition to drive from LA back to Chicago, I
thought that America would be like one giant extension of LA, brown and graffitied with men with tattoos, shaved heads and spaghetti- strapped tees shuffling back and forth in house slippers.
But parts of it are so rich and lush and green I understand how Katharine Lee Bates wrote the poem later used for the lyrics for “America the Beautiful.”
“Oh, beautiful for spacious skies for amber waves of grain.
For purple mountain majesties
Above the fruited plane…”
I would have been inspired to write those words myself had she not beaten me to it.
And that’s one of the reasons I wanted to drive across what is rumored to be this great country of ours; I didn’t want to gloss over anything from a window seat of a plane. I wanted to see, taste and feel America from myself from every damned mountaintop to every damned fruited plane. And see America I did. Driving east on the 40 I learned that Arizona is covered with soft lolling hilltops with pine and blankets of snow riding at their bases in parts and chiseled gold and pink rocks in others. Downtown Albuquerque has a western charm in adobe-styled buildings in terra cotta and gold and that eastern New Mexico has rolling farmlands that go on forever. Colorado has the grayish purple Rockies and Nebraska has snow-covered fields with grazing horses and cows. It is no wonder that so many people want to live here, even the graffiti mongers in LA.
Really, G-d has blessed America.