(03/31/2020)
By Alice Hickman Sawtelle
heartpaths@gmail.com

Today as I’m meditating on our country, our history, our ancestors and our literal beauty as a nation, as a people and as a land, I’m also recalling some journeys I’ve made with my husband across our country during the last several months.

So I begin a series of stories about some of those trails we’ve went down. Things and places we’ve seen and a few pictures. Hope you enjoy and don’t get trapped in any rabbit holes!

On August 9th of last year I was at “Garden of the Gods” near Colorado Springs, Colorado. Husband had said, “I think you’ll like this place.” I felt hesitation, questioning ’what he was getting me into now’ with the expectation of maybe a cave, a couple pretty rocks or a few beautiful trees. Just a little leery of a place named for the gods, since my faith is solidly based in the belief of only one God. But moving past all of that, I joined in his excitement as we motored on down the highway looking forward to our next adventure. Little did I know that the beauty I was to encounter would far exceed anything that I could have imagined.

It was there on that August afternoon, that I found myself walking through one of America’s beautiful mystical spiritual landscapes. It was also there that I snapped the photo (below) of a large poster picturing Katharine Lee Bates, the woman who was so inspired by the scenic beauty from atop Pikes Peak nearby, that she penned the poem America the Beautiful which was later transformed into the patriotic song that we own and love to sing today. I’ve added the original poem that inspired our America The Beautiful patriotic song. Music was added by Samuel A Ward.

May God bless America and it’s people today!

Oh, beautiful for spacious skies,
For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties
Above the fruited plain!
America! America!
God shed his grace on thee,
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea.

Oh, beautiful for pilgrim feet,
Whose stern, impassioned stress
A thoroughfare of freedom beat
Across the wilderness!
America! America!
God mend thine ev’ry flaw,
Confirm thy soul in self-control,
Thy liberty in law.


Oh, beautiful for heroes proved
In liberating strife,
Who more than self their country loved,
And mercy more than life!
America! America!
May God thy gold refine,
Till all success be nobleness,
And ev’ry gain divine.

Oh, beautiful for patriot dream
That sees beyond the years
Thine alabaster cities gleam,
Undimmed by human tears!
America! America!
God shed his grace on thee,
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea.


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