It’s been a mere 10 years since I lived in what I then thought was the hottest place on the east coast: Miami, Florida. Ducking in and out of air conditioning, never going without it in the car, wondering if the sun is just that hot because I’m closer to the equator or the reflective concrete/asphalt creates amplification. Even with cross breezes, trade winds, sea breezes.

Didn’t matter. A temperature there were no words for.

And now I am barely into the summer. A small North Carolina coastal town but hotter?? How is this possible? I can’t get away from the heat. I have to go outside to see how incredibly hot it is by coming back inside to the air conditioning. Nights are even worse, even with ceiling fans. Air movement, conditioned air, still oppressive.

Have not been in the ocean yet but it is 81 degrees! How is that cooler? And there was a shark attack just down shore last week. Well, that I have to discount because after all it’s their home initially, not ours. Thankfully only the boogie board got hurt.

It is also Flag Day tomorrow. The day America has set aside to reflect on what our flag represents. So in these days of people who have no idea what they are doing, what they truly are stomping on stomping on the flag, screaming pseudo-power words, they are actually saying, all these things I am saying I do not have because of unfair oppression, all these things I want and need but cannot obtain because of somebody else (never their fault, is it), I am going to make myself feel better by demeaning and disrespecting the representation of all that I claim to not have and want: freedom, prosperity, opportunity, discovery, maturity, victory, strength, empowerment.

Yes beset-upon persons claiming to have never had an opportunity to have or achieve or even try for that which you claim to want, you are grinding into the dirt the representation of all those things.

The American flag. A flag that has been bled for by more millions of gallons of blood than all of your bodies will ever produce in your lifetimes. A flag that, when seen on a bloody battlefield spurred on those who fought for the privilege of freedom because it represented all that was good and worth fighting for, even dying for.

Everything America was founded for– freedom. The rights each and every one of us has of life and happiness.

Read the Constitution. Or have someone read it to you. Then maybe you will get it.

So hot or cold, in any season or place, this flag, waving in a breeze, snapping in a wind, still brings tears to my eyes. Cool, healing tears.

Inspired by Zonation Alfonzo Rachel


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