“We are like children building a sand castle. We embellish it with beautiful shells, bits of driftwood, and pieces of colored glass. The castle is ours, off limits to others. We’re willing to attack if others threaten to hurt it. Yet despite all our attachment, we know that the tide will inevitably come in and sweep the sand castle away. The trick is to enjoy it fully but without clinging, and when the time comes, let it dissolve back into the sea.”
O beautiful for spacious skies,
For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties
Above the fruited plain!
God shed his grace on thee
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!
America, The Beautiful Lyrics by Katharine Lee Bates – 1913
Every now and then, my father will tell me a story about my grandfather that will surprise me. Like how he got shot once, fled on horseback, and even though he reached safety, the bullet was never taken out. It’s moments like that one when I realize my grandparents had a very different life than I do.
I tend to reflect a lot on my family history, mostly on the vast life differences between generations. I especially thought about this during my college graduation. As I sat on the metal chairs facing the commencement stage, among all the other graduates, I kept thinking: How did I get here?