WEDNESDAY, JULY 4: Whether you are sweating through an exercise class or pumping iron at the gym, you’ll notice that everyone seems to be talking about working their ‘core.
They’re attempting to keep their ‘abs’ tight while they, and here’s that word again, work their ‘core’. Yoga enthusiasts apparently have been doing this for years.
I don’t have that kind of core; I have a middle-age mid-section which is more commonly known as a belly.
I console myself with the knowledge that my real core, my real essence is what’s inside my heart. The ice-cream helps, too.
But when I pause to think about my lucky childhood, I think about how my education, my parents’ love and guidance and that of my whole neighbourhood was predicated on the shared values of truth, kindness, respect, loyalty and honour. Those values were our core.
Today is the Fourth of July and Americans on the island and other far reaching places in the world will celebrate with their family and friends.
We’ll listen to concerts, have a little too much to eat at a barbeque, and be exhausted from standing so long at parades with children on our shoulders.
We can’t wait for the fireworks. But first, we will rise and sing the Star Spangled Banner, our National Anthem.
I’ll be the lady with her hand on her heart proudly warbling along. I’ll take a deep breath and reach hard for that one and a half octave when we sing, “…and the rockets’ red glare, the bombs bursting in air, gave proof through the night that our flag was still there,” and hope that I’ll make it.
I’ll listen to the politicians speak and hear things like our “two great nations” and “our enduring relationship…” and at that point I’ll probably start glazing over.
They mean well, but these days, truth and honesty aren’t necessarily the hallmark of political careers.
Just take a look at John Edwards. It’s also a little hard to take when so many of our young people are motivated by what they think is the fast track and I don’t necessarily mean their careers.
They have the right everything; phones, handbags, cars, and bikes. They look sharp and I have to say, these days no one seems to be going through any awkward stages like my generation. They’re looking good.
What really counts
But as tight as their core might be, their abs of steel are no substitute for what really counts and I worry about them. I often think that a temporary case of good old fashioned acne might bring some of these sharpies down to size.
It’s hard to feel like you have all the answers when you still have to use Clearasil or whatever it is they use these days. Maybe we just need to set a better example.
But there will be a moment that finally releases me from my preoccupations and worries and I’ll focus again on the celebration and speech giving.
From a small distance away I will hear a familiar drum cadence and I will smile. The Bermuda Regiment Band is on its way. I can’t help it; seeing these young men and women, marching towards us in their smart uniforms, delights me. It is my favourite part of the Fourth and their participation is indeed an incredibly generous gesture to all the Americans on the island.
The Regiment Band will mix it up with a fun selection of Americana. We’ll probably hear Alexander’s Rag Time Band and definitely the infectious, Yankee Doodle Dandy. I am that yankee doodle girl!
I love it when families dance with their children. It reminds me of when my own two girls use to beg me to twirl them around.
When the horn players signal a change of tempo, the Regiment will perform one of the most moving renditions I have ever heard of America the Beautiful. Their splendid rendition always reminds me, that surrounded by family and friends you don’t always have to be in your own backyard to feel at home.
Keeping the faith, staying true to our core values is important.
No one ever said that upholding those values would be easy, but it would be worth it. I’m going to have that second piece of pie and worry about my abs tomorrow. Thank you, Bermuda — and Happy Fourth of July!