|reflecting on our trip|
You know what’s amazing? The Gateway Arch in St. Louis! I know, I know - you’ve probably been there, done that, bought the t-shirt. But don’t let that stop you from maintaining a sense of continued awe or from pondering the immensity of the project. You know what baffles me about it? The fact that the Arch - this immense feat of engineering - this “monument to the dream” - was built little by little. Each panel of stainless steel, each nut and each bolt, each pour of concrete. Every little part was strategically planned and placed and it all came together bit by bit, decade after decade. When you stand back and look at it (or ride to the top and look out of it) you don’t think about these little things. But they’re all there.
You know what else is amazing? Cahokia Mounds! You may not realize it right away when you drive past these giant piles of earth - but these are remarkable. Just think about it! The people who built these had only primitive tools which they painstakingly created themselves. No machines. No backhoes. Just flint hoes and baskets, legs and arms, strong backs and keen minds. And little by little - with each strike of the hammer stone, each shard of flint, each basket of dirt filled one by one - an entire community was built, decades at a time; a network of mounds supporting generations of people. When you stand back and look at it (or climb the 150 steps to the top of the largest one and look out from it) you may not think about these little things. But they’re all there.
And you know what else is amazing? Families. Oh sure. We all know what families are and aren’t they great, and we all love our families and blah blah blah. But don’t let your familiarity (pun intended) with the concept stop you from maintaining a sense of continued awe. Nor should you just breeze past them without realizing the immensity or significance. Isn’t it remarkable? The way that families form, little by little, strategically and haphazardly, year over year, decade by decade, bit by bit. Each mile on the minivan, each song on the playlist, each memory made … each milestone, each family member ... each “Mommy, will you help me?” and “Dada!” … each vacation, each stay home day … each giggle, tickle, tear, and hug. When you stand back and look at it (or stand right in the middle of it and look out) you don’t think about those little things. But they’re all there.