The random thoughts of an architect-turned- lawyer from the deep south living in Washington, DC...

Wednesday, March 30, 2005


Sometimes we get so busy we forget to stop and take in the world around us. Yesterday, I was busy. Today, I am stopping to enjoy the world. The sun is shining bright today. Yesterday was rain and tomorrow will bring the rain back. Today, though...today is beautiful. The only clouds in the sky are those making the wispy marks to add a soft touch to the sharp blue palette. Today, I am lucky. I am sitting with my back up against a tree in Lafayette Park with a view of the White House. Across the street, taking advantage of a prime photo-op is a high school class. They are wearing matching black T-shirts and big smiles. Watching them being herded around by their leaders reminds me of my high school trip to Washington. This was a trip that, admittedly, shaped my future. I wonder if these kids have any idea what this trip will come to mean to them. As they all disperse, one girl remains. Her back is to the crowd and she stands alone and just stares at the beautiful house in front of her. I see myself years ago. I know that this child will appreciate the impact of this trip.

Approaching on my right is an older gentleman. I passed him a few blocks back. He is being helped along by his son who is probably about my father's age. The older gentleman has a painful look on his face. I can tell it is hard for him to get where he is going. He walks all the way to the center of the view of the White House and he stops. His pain is gone. His smile brightens the sky even more. That is all he wanted...to just stop and take it in. His son pulls him as if to tell him it is time to go. The father remains...standing, staring, smiling.

Behind me is a child just learning to walk. With daddy by her side, some of her first steps are toward the White House. She watches daddy put one foot in front of the other. He makes it look so easy. She doesn't notice the crowds or the cameras. She only notices the squirrel. For a while, her determination to reach the furry creature far outweighs her inability to maintain her balance. She falls. Then she gets right back up and keeps on chasing while daddy keeps beaming with pride.

I have been in DC for almost four years now. I made a promise to myself that from day one, I will never lose the awestruck feeling when in the presence of a DC landmark. That is sometimes hard. I realize today that I will always be in awe of the White House. However, watching the people that have come from all over to experience our Nation's Capital is what is bringing tears to my eyes right now. I want to always be that baby girl chasing her dreams. I want to be that high school student who has the ability to tune out the others and focus on what is important. I want to be that older person who still fights to enjoy the simple things.

I realized something important today: Right now, I am living the life I have always dreamed of. What makes me luckiest, though, is that I can realize this, I can pause, and I can just take it all in. What a glorious day.

UPDATE: My wonderful day was capped with the birth of the newest addition to my family. My niece, Jessie Elizabeth, was born around 6:00 pm this evening:-)