Monday, October 03, 2005

As it happened, we ventured over the pass and made it to Missoula to watch The Griz play Homecoming football this weekend. Always an honor to be in The Holy Land. The people there are ranchers, loggers, proud and gentle, quietly thrilled to be educating their children. I trekked up to the M early Saturday morning and reviewed the lay of the land. So much has changed, so much the same. The trees were the same, beautiful in golds, oranges and reds. And of course, the big sky is still magnificent and big. But the new bridges, masonry buildings and housing developments made me wonder what lies beyond--just how far is Montana from Los Angeles these days or Noo York Citty for that matter? Will the people of Montana always show a subborn preference for doing the right thing, for giving the parking garage back, or will they too settle in with Growth and Development, with Going along and Getting along? I was reading some of the maps on the wall at the Shack Cafe, drawn in the early 1800's and loved their glaring omissions and faulty assumptions. Like no Lake Coeur d'Alene. Just what was the source of the clearly marked Spokane River? The imperfections delighted, touched me, as reminders that these United States of ours are works in progress, still, and that there are many drawings left to come. Being far, far removed from my original Jewish ancestry, I find I have a New Year's wish nonetheless: I hope that we never lose our imperfections and that the pride of having a big sky and colorful trees never leads us to the place where that pride overcomes the gentleness in us that craves to learn new and more things, and to educate ourselves in a manner that makes us all want to come back to Homecoming, at least for New Year's.

The Kan 'EWA

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