Suzette Martinez Standring: Foresight, freedom and ospreys
During the week of the Fourth of July, our family makes an escape to Cape Cod. Instant serenity lies on the other side of the Bourne Bridge, and I’m wildly in love with it. Maybe it’s the getaway from routine, the blue hydrangeas and briny air. The sparkling sea along Falmouth Heights sets a mantra on repeat mode in my mind, “Thank you, thank you, thank you, Lord!”
Nature is in high def on the Cape. Unexpected goodness always makes me think of God. For example, at the tops of some power poles, nesting platforms have been built for ospreys, and high above I catch a glimpse of mamma bird. Whose idea was it, and who were the workers who put these platforms into place?
I laugh to imagine a civic meeting where the idea is broached. When asked, “Is there any new business?” did somebody say, “Yes, ospreys need more, safe nesting sites, so can we make utility poles do double duty?” I later discover the platforms on utility poles and single nesting poles elsewhere were completed by the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers with the volunteer help of Ameri-Corps (Cape Cod) and Boy Scouts of America as part of the Watchable Wildlife Program.?
The gift is not just to the local birds. Surely I’m not the only one surveying blue skies, suddenly surprised by the heap of twigs high overhead, and compelled to marvel.
July Fourth and the freedom that it represents was once a tiny germ in colonial minds. Today red, white and blue flags flutter as the parade passes, and it’s easy to forget that the American Revolution was about upheaval, insurgency, and revolt. The desire for better lives through self-governance faced bitter challenges and not just from Mother England. A significant number of colonial naysayers saw budding independence as an act of treason. Many felt loyal to the crown and feared what an untried, new government might bring.
Yet the human spirit to fight tyranny prevailed. We benefit from those long ago souls who had the courage to lead in a new direction and fight for it. Over three centuries later, we are like the ospreys. From the viewpoint of other countries, Americans nest safely high above and fly free.
Today we still are tested with issues that affect us collectively. However we label them, it’s about human reform, and one’s spirit is embedded with right action, the kind that stands the test of time. Ecclesiastes 3:11 said, “He made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.”
All week long, flags will flutter, and neighbors will exclaim, “Happy Fourth of July.” With foresight and support, ospreys soar heavenward. So do we.
Email Suzette Standring at email@example.com. She is the award-winning author of “The Art of Column Writing.” Suzette teaches writing workshops nationally.