They were plain. Hewn from the wood of thousands year old trees.
Taken, not given. It would be much too late when that was realized.
But they built.
Out of misshapen pieces that would later be named. Some that seemed like worthy pieces would be deemed unstable.
But all were usable. Not only usable but stronger than was previously, originally thought.
The ones shaped out of three sides.
The long and narrow pieces.
Ones square and sturdy.
And the curved and gracefully arched ones. Those took the longest to be used as they were designed to be incorporated.
It needs to be said that the land they built upon, it was meant for every child to use, to share, to feast on.
But as will happen often when heady power meets open generosity, some took what was not theirs to take.
This land, it was like and unlike any the visitors had ever encountered. Some say it was the vastness that called, that the untamed terra caused a powerful need to tame and subdue.
And as will often happen when left unchecked, insatiable need often turns the corner to find greed and selfish taking the reins.
Always in the wake of those driven to conquer, there lay those pieces. The ones left in the pile called scrap. The pieces some thought unusable, ugly. Scarred by flame, burned beyond recognition. Forever removed from the hearth of home to be forgotten, left as dead.
The thing is.
There were the curious ones. Who came upon the scattered remains, among the few left to survive. They were the wakers, the ones that came to build.
They were driven by something else, a tiredness of power corrupting, sickened by the waste of talent and giftings and experience overlooked, buried and called to be forgotten by the few who scrambled to build atop whatever hill they could claim was theirs first.
So the blocks that were left, they looked to each other to see how the puzzle could be solved. Like any puzzle worth the solving, it would take time. And cleverness. And the willingness to start again. And again.
To the jaded, the fearful, the sadly mistaken ones, the finished product looked laughable.
Jagged and unbalanced, they said.
Pieces don’t fit together that way, they laughed.
Many times, so many times, those filled with burning anger at the freedom at which the block builders joined, ran at their structure, toppling the blocks they deemed to be enjoying liberty too much for the common good.
What they didn’t know, the few bitterly twisted ones, was that the blocks only became more agile, more connected to the ones they had been standing with.
So when the ones who only wanted the land to look the way they had planned, turned their back, again and again, the blocks rebuilt.
And each time the structures became stronger, more adept at rebuilding. They filled holes with new blocks ready to stand with the others. They found which blocks were best at what positions, to hold together stronger, for next time.
And there was always a next time. Because those blocks, shaped from thousands year old trees, built on land taken, not given, wanted to be built, with those who wanted to join. And those who wanted to build in other ways, different structures, they wanted that to be possible too.
They invited any and all. Those new to this land taken, not given, to build and rebuild with them. They cheered the ones previously considered misshapen and useless, as these had been found to be intregal to the structures strength.
There were times and stretches and lengths of great peace when the blocks flourished and grew and inspired and launched a million, billion new ways to think about building.
But as always there is when freedom looks too frightening, when ones aren’t seeming to fit the plans some held dear, there were times of knocking down. Kicking apart. Burning bridges and building walls.
That was never what this land was meant to hold.
So this time, when the many blocks spread far and wide realized too late, that some had taken the original blueprints and were using them to deconstruct the towers and buildings and art the many had sacrificed to build together, there was a quick and awful grief.
A palpable sense of mourning what had been accomplished, from bringing so many so different together. Only to now see that there were actually some who were ready to dismantle this land piece by piece.
But there were the ones, the wakers. They stood and spoke and wrote and reminded. And that flame spread quickly. Because it was the many, not the few, who still believed that this land taken, not given, could be built into something worthy of its beauty.
It’s scarred, rugged, limping, teeming, gorgeous promise ignited.
The few though, had misjudged, mishandled, miscalculated. Because as often happens when unchecked fear turns anger, then controlling, it can sometimes seem as if they have won. As if they have taken back a land that had already been taken.
This is not where the story ends. It never is. And this time, there have been too many builders and too many apprentices who have knowingly and unknowingly been preparing for such a time.
You see, in the wake of the few wanting to close their doors and lock all in with them, they forgot to knock the towers down.
The structures that had been quietly being assembled, made of the bits and pieces cast aside by those requiring only uniformity in shape and size.
There aren’t as many of those awe filling thousand year old trees now. And so they have become rare and worth the saving.
The building blocks, they are even more the precious, and it is now that the fight begins to save this land, in all it’s mess and shame, glory and pain, waste and victory; there must, there will be, liberty and justice, for all.
For there is one thing you cannot control, and that is love.
Hear this, young men and women everywhere, and proclaim it far and wide. The earth is yours and the fullness thereof. Be kind, but be fierce. You are needed now more than ever before. Take up the mantle of change. For this is your time.–Winston Churchill
Via Meetup:: A note on the Constitution:
Although they took the courageous acts of revolution and establishing American democracy, it is important to recognize the Founding Fathers didn’t create the most perfect union. America wasn’t even ours to create — it was inhabited by native people who were systematically pushed out of their land and nearly out of existence. The Constitution enshrined slavery into the very fabric of America, creating a racist, oppressive system that continues to affect African-Americans’ ability to work, live, and thrive in this country. The fight for justice and equality in America has been going on since our founding, to make our country more inclusive and to establish #LibertyAndJusticeForAll.