I regularly travel for work. Sometimes I don’t mind it, sometimes I do. Sometimes it feels burdensome and irritating and then again it can occasionally be fun and exciting.
I have most certainly been to locations I may never have ventured without a purpose outside of leisure.
This post is written from Washington, D.C. — a place I have been many times in my life for fun and for work. There is plenty to love about the city. Living almost all my life on the East Coast of this country makes it an easy hub to get to by train, plain, or automobile. Plus it is a hub for meetings and conferences.
I have been here many many many times. I know what to expect on approach from various angles. I know the visuals that will tell me I am closing in on my destination.
And, yet…. every single time I am here and a landmark comes into view it elicits an emotional response from me. Even when I am prepared, it happens.
This evening, as I pulled off the highway, I was nervous that perhaps I’d inputted the wrong address into my GPS as I’d seen none of the expected monuments that I would normally see driving towards downtown.
I’d driven down here following dinner, thereby not arriving until about 11:00 pm. No traffic was anywhere in site. The streets all practically empty.
When I turned onto the thoroughfare that is New Jersey Avenue, I was welcomed by a spectacular clear night’s angle of the Capitol Building with nothing blocking the view. All that lit up white architecture against the dark cloudless sky — it was beautiful. Actually breathtaking.
When it comes to the impact of some of these buildings, it doesn’t matter who lives in the White House or who leads in Congress. These buildings themselves are spectacular monuments designed to impress.
The architects of yesteryear had a mission to create monuments that would not only withstand time and turnovers of government, but would leave the bystander with an emotional response.
In my opinion, they succeeded.
I will spend a large portion of the next day and a half with many people who live and work in this region. I would bet they have become jaded by living inside the beltway. I hope that many have not turned a cold eye to these structures. These testaments of stone, brick, iron, and wood to the dedication of our founding leaders.
I hope that they are still occasionally filled with wonder at all that has transpired in the world in not quite 250 years.
It is amazing when you stop to think about the fact that the United States is a blip on the historical radar of human self-governance.
We are a living testament that the world can completely change in just a few generations. Seeing these structures always reconnects me with that feeling of hope that comes from knowing that many things in the world are far better than they were even a century ago.
The construction and design of the US Capital is a physical reminder that we have travelled far in a short time.
Hopefully we can fix some of the craziness that is ailing this country now.
Hopefully we can keep on keeping on the road to bettering the condition of both humanity and this planet we call home.
I am attempting to stay apprenticed to hope.
348 Days to go.