Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Interdependence Day

I know that today we mark the anniversary of our independence, 13 little colonies declaring that they no longer belong to England. I think back on what a crazy/brave thing that was to do, cutting ties with the Motherland in such a dramatic and seemingly final way. But of course, our relationship with Great Britain did not end; indeed, it improved markedly over the decades, until nowadays we are staunch allies. That’s life; we can’t get stuck in the past.

Declaration of Interdependence! Today!

Walking in the Oreland Fourth of July parade this morning, our revelers included several wonderful young families with kids (Braden and Lucy, Charlie and Eva, Alyssa and Bryce). who remind me of the young Seyfried clan from years gone by. We were usually down in Rehoboth Beach by now, but once in a while we were still home for the festivities. I have a photo of a tank (yes!) rolling down Apel Ave. with some of our little ones, with furrowed brows, in the foreground (Oreland looking for all the world like an occupied country).  

 My brood is all grown up, and their independence is clear: all five can survive (and thrive) on their own. I feel like I’m trailing far behind, because I have never lived alone: marriage at age barely-20 will do that to you. I am living in an empty house this week, with Sher, Yaj and kids in Taiwan, 

My heart is 10,000 miles away!!
and Steve getting the Rehoboth Summer Children’s Theatre season going. Setting my own mealtime, worktime and bedtime is unfamiliar territory. The silence is deafening. We have a little mouse we have been unable to trap so far, and I am actually grateful for its company!

 I believe that independence can be way overrated. Instead, I vote for interdependence, reaching across the aisles, and the miles, to clasp hands and keep each other moving forward. When you think about it, we need other people in myriad ways, every day. That is the beauty of community, be it a faith community or any other. Much as we may want to sever ties at times, the ties that bind, bind us still. We share a planet, air, water. I may not always like you, but by God I need you, and you need me.

What would a world that recognizes our interdependence look like? Very different from some currently popular models, that’s for sure. Interdependence requires humility, and compassion, and a true appreciation of one another and what we each have to bring to the banquet table of life. Sharing resources and hopes and dreams, enriches us all.

So can we possibly re-frame July 4th as Interdependence Day, and recognize our ongoing relationship with our fellow travelers? After all, being the United States of America, and still being part of the rich and beautiful tapestry of the world, are not mutually exclusive things.

Today, I wave my stars and stripes, along with the flags of ALL nations. All nations, under God. Indivisible. With, please Lord, liberty and justice for all.

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