Tuesday, July 25, 2006
The 24th of July is a sort of benchmark in the year. It has been since a childhood event when, on the 24th, my uncle ascended in his pickup to the top of Bountiful Peak, decending in the heat of the summer day with a bed full of snow. He deposited it at my grandparent's house, amazing all, especially us children. Since then, this is a time when I look to the local mountain to see how the water year is progressing.
This year's snow, like the last, has been scant over much of the mountain, mostly on account of this summer's tremendous heat. We have made it to this point with just enough snow on the 'Shoe to make me smile, though. Things will be just fine.
So, as things go, it was a fairly quiet Pioneer Day here in SpringTowne. Most of the festivities around the state were held on Friday or Saturday in this state leery of revelry on the Sabbath.
I erected the state flag, nevertheless, in silent protest to all of the US flag waving that seems to happen on this holiday, as if it were merely an extension of the 4th, a day entirely appropriate for such flags. Pioneer Day, in my eyes, is more a Utah Independence Day, inasmuch as the pioneers were in fact fleeing the United States way back in 1847.
They were seeking a land where they could practice their worship of God as they saw fit, with all their virtues and foibles intact. The Utah Pioneers escaped to Mexico, legally or not, to a high desert that not many wanted to bother with. They proposed to join the union not long after that, after their bit of earth became a territory through the shady dealings of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, though Utah (for much of those years known as Deseret) was rebuffed for more than forty years in its attempts to gain statehood. The request was only granted after threats, war and petty accusations wore Utah's Mormons down to give up many things held sacred.
My wee flag waves on the 24th as a feeble reminder that some things were given up to become a part of the home of the free and the home of the brave. Things haven't much changed even in the present, judging from processes and machinations at work in our fair nation today.