Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Independence Day Celebration

Here in Utah, the 4th of July celebrations commenced on Saturday, July 3rd and ended Monday on July 5th reserving Sunday, the 4th as the Sabbath. In our small town, this was a BIG weekend!

You have heard me say that I live in a very small town founded by the Swiss. It is a valley high atop the great Rocky Mountains with picturesque views at every turn. The architeture is, for the most part, Swiss with many chalet style homes and buildings. There is wildlife that freely roams our neighborhoods and the landscape is that of most mountain resort towns, filled with majestic pine trees, mighty oaks and just about any other indigenous flora. I love it and have said many times that I feel like I live in a postcard!

Anyway, our town may be small, but we celebrate in a big way! Saturday commenced with the "Plein Aire" art exhibit, Main Street musicians, multitudes of families filling our parks with barbeques, and fireworks that were shot off of Memorial Hill that rival any big city!

On Monday morning at 6:00 AM, we were all awaken by the sound of a cannon blasting multiple rounds (not sure how many) which served as a great reminder of the troops of men who foght for the liberty and freedoms that we now enjoy. At 7:00 AM, we gathered together at Town Square for a sunrise devotional.service. We were treated to hear our adorable Swiss Miss girls sing, our Swiss Choir sing and our Swiss Belles play stirring patriotic anthems on their bells. It was charming and wonderful.

We also had a guest speaker. She was amazing and none other than Sheri Dew. Anyone from Utah knows who Sheri Dew is, she is a wonderful woman of strength and integrity who has risen to local fame as an acclaimed author of two biographies of LDS church leaders as well as several other uplifting books, she is the CEO of Deseret Book and she has served in many leadership positions in our church. She is very intelligent and yet very personable.

Sheri has never been married and although it has been her desire to find a husband and marry, for whatever reason, it just hasn't happened. She is very candid and open about this. She adores her nieces and nephews and speaks of them often. I was particularly touched by one story of her nephew; This was about 12 years ago. She said that her phone rang and it was her brother who called telling her that his then 8 year old son had asked the blessing on the food and asked Heavely Father to "help Aunt Sheri find a good husband who doesn't smoke or drink, say bad words or LITTER!"...

They cracked up. As she thought of this sweet prayer, she thought about "litter". She thought of how it is trash that is selfishly discarded with no regard for anyone else because it needs to be picked up and is always done so by someone else. She went on to say that we all leave a "trail" behind us as we go through life. Do we leave "garbage" for others to deal with?

This got me thinking. As I was sitting there listening to this beautiful disertation on our responsibilities to leave this world a better place than we found it (and not just physically!) I thought about our Founding Fathers and all that they did to ensure the freedoms that we now enjoy. They had foresight and wanted to leave a trail of integrity and liberty for all of us. They weren't perfect, but they were some of the finest men and pledged their lives, honor and personal fortunes in order to "leave a trail" for the rest of us.

So my goal, as I go on with my life, is to be conscious of the trail that I leave for my posterity. To remember that others have to clean up after me if I don't do it myself. I am so grateful for amazing people who have the gift to inspire and uplift. I am thankful for the "trail" that has been left for me and all of us...I am thankful to have the freedom to live where I choose and to enjoy the simple everyday pleasures that I often take for granted...


linda said...

What a beautiful post Mary with much food for thought! Thank you for sharing!

Beki - TheRustedChain said...

This is beautiful!

Lynn said...

I love Sheri Dew!! Thanks for sharing this post!

Teresa @ Grammy Girlfriend said...

What a wonderful post....Loved it