We were gone last week. We decided to venture out to the Black Hills in South Dakota. (Which is why I have not been reading any blogs or commenting! I will be attempting to catch up soon.)
One of the places that we continue to visit, when we get out that way, is Mt. Rushmore. It never changes but it is just something that seems to beckon us to stop and wander around. This time we were able to visit with the last known remaining carver of the mountain, Nick Clifford. He is 96 years old this year and still sharp as a tack.
After speaking with him and reading the plaques along the trails, that wind around the base of the heads; we rediscovered the fact that the sculpture was actually never finished. They quit carving on it when the US entered World War II. Originally the presidents were supposed to have their coats as part of the sculpture.
It was a beautiful day to be outdoors enjoying the view. The flags were fluttering in the breeze, the crowds were thinner due to school starting, and we were able to stroll the trails in the sun and take our time reading plaques that helped to educate us.
It did really strike me that this project was never finished. My first thought was they should have finished it or should be finishing it now. My second thought was that this memorial is a pretty accurate representation of our country and of us as people….we are not yet finished.
We are constantly changing….sometimes for the better….sometimes not. We have gone through wars, riots, racial challenges, scandals, parades, cheering on our veterans, raising children, everyday life, etc. Some good…..some not.
On this day, the 11th of September, it is good to remember that we are not yet finished. This is a day that, as a country, and as a world we won’t forget. For my generation….it is our Pearl Harbor.
We have learned things since that day. There are still things that we, as a country, need to change. There are challenges still to be faced. We are growing and will continue to grow for years to come. Some things will change and others will not.
People will still be people with strong feelings and opinions about things. There will be wars, because we, as a world are made up of imperfect people. We will struggle with events and we will celebrate other events.
We will continue growing, with those four stone faces looking on. I sometimes wonder what they would make of this country and it’s people. I wonder if it would be what they had in mind when they were in charge.
I anticipate that my husband and I will make a trek to those heads a few more times before we are done….at least I hope to in the years to come. I also anticipate that we will grow as we are chiseled, hewn and shaped into what we were meant to be.
May we be gracious while we are being shaped and carved into what we are meant to be. May we persevere and in the end stand firm as a mountain. May we realize that we are not yet finished……..
“When things do not go your way,
remember that every challenge
— every adversity
— contains within it the seeds of opportunity and growth.”
― Roy T. Bennett