“A Constitution of Government once changed from Freedom, can never be restored. Liberty, once lost, is lost forever.”
― John Adams

“I am an American; free born and free bred, where I acknowledge no man as my superior, except for his own worth, or as my inferior, except for his own demerit.”
― Theodore Roosevelt

(sparkler at home / Julie Cook / 2014)

At some point today during all of the festivities— the picnics, the skiing, the watermelons, the cutting of the grass, the road races, the swimming, the time in the ocean’s waves, the parades, the fireworks–may we all take pause to offer up our thanks for the ability to enjoy those very things—may we be mindful of and grateful for those who bore the struggles and the battles–for those who lost their lives, all to ensure that we, both you and I, may do those very simple fun and patriotic things that we do to “celebrate the 4th of July. . .
May God Bless the United States of America. . .


“The condition upon which God hath given liberty to man is eternal vigilance; which condition if he break, servitude is at once the consequence of his crime and the punishment of his guilt.”
John Philpot Curran

The preservation of peace and the guaranteeing of man’s basic freedoms and rights require courage and eternal vigilance: courage to speak and act – and if necessary, to suffer and die – for truth and justice; eternal vigilance, that the least transgression of international morality shall not go undetected and unremedied.
Haile Selassie

(sparrow / Savannah, Georgia / Julie Cook / 2014)

As I turn on the news each evening or peruse the electronic news feeds, I am constantly reminded, by the headlines of the day, of the perilous balance of liberties and freedoms–the same liberties and freedoms that we have grown blindly accustomed to. The freedoms that the Western World always seems to take for granted.

Our liberties, of which we merely assume are enjoyed around the world, those that are threatened on a daily basis, as the simple freedom of living is put to the test across the globe.
The freedom to worship.
The freedom to vote.
The freedom to choose an education—or not
The freedom to work as one wishes.
The freedom to live where one chooses.
The freedom to shop as one desires.
The freedom to dress as one pleases.
The freedom to travel openly.

All of which we take for granted—assuming to be our God given right.
We take as a given of simply being. . .
But oh how tenuous is the balance which the world hangs between. . .that of tyranny, oppression and death.

I do not propose that we of the “free world” are to be the police of the remainder of this world, nor are we to necessarily impose our form of belief upon others. . .but oh how I wish that those in this world, who continue to impose violence upon woman and children, those who impose death upon their fellow countrymen, those who wish death upon the innocents, or those who live to destroy our way of life, could / would understand that thuggery, death, violence, coercion, manipulation, torture, are not the answer.

May we be mindful to remain vigilant rather than rest in our complacency. . .

Oh tempestuous Liberty

(Photograph: Sea oats along the Pacific Rim Trail/ Yachats, Oregon/ Julie Cook/2013)

“Timid men prefer the calm of despotism to the tempestuous sea of liberty.”
Thomas Jefferson

Merriam Webster defines Liberty as: the quality or state of being free:
a : the power to do as one pleases
b : freedom from physical restraint
c : freedom from arbitrary or despotic control
d : the positive enjoyment of various social, political, or economic rights and privileges
e : the power of choice

There is a fine line between the liberties of our freedom and the wanton reckless abandon of anarchy —and yes, this desire to live one’s life as one choses, this liberty, this freedom has come at a cost—the highest cost, the highest price humans can offer–their lives. Men and woman have been paying the highest price for this freedom of ours since the late 1700’s–as the road, even prior to a Revolutionary War, was paved in equal peril—all in order to have the choice as to how to live a life as one truly wishes.
Yes there are laws, there are the “within reasons”, the democratic rule, a check and balance within leadership…these things must accompany freedom so that all people of this one nation under God may each experience the sweetness of freedom–equally and justly.
We will do well to remember that we may sometimes not like things or individuals entrusted with the care of managing our “Liberty” yet we still have the freedom of choice, the freedom of voice, the freedom of the word, the freedom of prayer, the freedom of travel… and we must be ever vigilant in maintaining these freedoms. All this as I sit and watch the news of Egypt crumbling—
May we remember our responsibilities to our “freedom” , to our Liberty….. may we also remember our responsibility to a world that looks to us as an example–I fear we are letting our Allies, as well as those who look to us for strength, down–all good things worth having are indeed worth working for and in our case, fighting for—this “working” is not easy—it requires strength, sweat, pain, suffering, and commitment—are you still willing to do what it required—I hope so…I hope and pray that we all are…………..