Happy Birthday...but whose birthday is it really? The United States' Birthday falls one day before the day I decided to join my family on a small island in the Pacific. I was several weeks late, the local islanders took matters into their own hands, offering my mother some special beans---which at best probably harked back to the infamous Boston baked bean. I am not certain if it was the sound of fireworks or her intestinal pains that might have followed after she ate a big bowl of beans but I finally popped into the world on the fifth of July. With a birthday right after our countries, I have always been able to insure I can celebrate for at least the entire month of July. However, in recent years my birthday has been a time of reflection and giving thanks. In many parts of the world, it is a tradition to give to others on your birthday not receive.
I have adopted this tradition and really ask that no gifts are given to me. Which leads me to my initial question, who's birthday is it really? Is it my birthday? Is it our countries? I think all of those who have grown up in America have something to give thanks for; however, what was really birthed on my birthday or our countries started long before the date we stamped it as the first moment I gasped for air or our country claimed this land to be our own.
What was birthed on our birthday's, we label as our own and was magical, signifies the birth of something new. A moment in time, where a mother whispers thank you when she stares at her child for the first time. A moment when our countrymen, gave thanks for embarking on a new life and founding the birth of the land of opportunity. While, my birth and our nation's takes place years apart plus 1 day, I always carry in my heart the energy of something new being born. I remember the possibilities that were offered and will be continued be offered as we continue to change shift and grow. While, what we coined as opportunity still rings true throughout the world and has become our nation's motto.
The land of opportunity, this year I want to give thanks not for our Fore Fathers but for our Native Fathers and Mothers who preserved and protected this land. The very same way a mother protects her child and how selflessly our native people taught us about working and living with the land. We have made some mistakes along they way like any young child might as they experiment with what is not known. However, I think this year I encourage all of you to not only give thanks for the land of opportunity but for our native fathers and mothers that offered us the greatest opportunity we might have ever been given---a chance for freedom. Instead of toasting our nation, raise a glass to our ancestors who paved a road and sacrificed their freedom for our sweet land of liberty.
Happy Birthday, America.....with deep gratitude to the Native Americans. May we someday return to you all that you have given our Nation!
In Service with Love, Peace and Laughter,