Well, ya can't teach American Lit for ten seconds....and I did it for ten years, and not appreciate Ben Franklin. I mean, he's THE Renaissance Man of the colonial age. As my hero says, if there's a colonial-themed question on Jeopardy, it's either Ben Franklin (person) or Virginia. (place)
And since he appeared twice in today's newspaper, I couldn't resist extolling about him now.
On this very date in 1784, he expressed his disappointment over the choice of the EAGLE as the symbol of America. In a letter to his daughter, he stated his own preference: the turkey.
Now don't get me wrong. I love turkeys. I say grace for the one that feeds me on Thanksgiving. But a national symbol?
An eagle soaring through the sky is something I want to see with my own eyes. The weekend before my hero's diagnosis last January (we already knew something bad was going on; we just didn't know what, or how bad), I read a post at my favorite place on the web, Petticoats and Pistols It's a site created for western romance authors and readers by ten top-selling authors in the genre. (I'm humbled to get to guest-blog there occasionally.) And that weekend, a guest-blogger's wrote about her "bucket list." Things to do before you die, based on a just-released movie starring Jack Nicholson.
And I realized so many of my things to do had come true. I'd made a good marriage and raised two great kids. Seen some wonderful places both here and abroad. Published some books. Witnessed the birth of my grandbaby...
But one thing hadn't happened yet at that time: my hero's return to health.
I was in too much pain to comment about that, then, so I added my next-best-thing-to-do to to that blogpost. Watching an eagle fly.
Tim McGraw sings about it in Live Like You Were Dying...John Denver in The Eagle and the Hawk. I've heard their words, seen eagles on movies. That's enough for now.
Because Ben Franklin left some other wisdom that fits these troubled times.
Contentment makes poor men rich; discontent makes rich men poor.
I am content. (even though I wish old Ben had used inclusionary language.