Thursday, September 22, 2011

DC Reflections: The Why

A friend recently recommended a movie, and did so with enthusiasm. Why? It wasn't based on the plot, but reflected significant underlying themes that reach far beyond one story and into the story of humanity -- complex relationships, messy situations, courage, truth, goodness, triumph.

Light Traffic
My husband and I recently spent almost a week in Washington, D.C.  With traffic, crowds, and other such factors, it isn't precisely a restful place to visit. The city is filled, too, with reminders of war, grief, Holocaust, and other difficult issues. There are some truly impressive structures and attractive park spaces, but none of that was worth flying across the country.

So, why go? For me, it overlaps with why I went camping the week before. Two very different experiences, but with pretty significant overlap in purpose.

On The Mall
First, Mark and I went together. It was wonderful to experience DC with him. We walked a lot, saw the same things, sometimes saw them differently, and talked along the way. Whether going to Washington, D.C., or Wall Drug in South Dakota, I like going with Mark.

Second, this time in DC was opportunity to connect with something broader than my own little world, to think in bigger terms, to see where I fit within a broader story, to be challenged toward something greater. Best I can tell, that kind of connection is central for many other DC tourists, too. It isn't easy, isn't restful. But it is important, and it is worthwhile.

I can recommend touring DC, and do so with enthusiasm. Why? It's not about knowledge to acquire or interesting things to see, but is more about significant underlying themes that reach far beyond individual stories in history and flesh out a broader story lived out through centuries. Yes, it is messy and complex. And it is filled with all sorts of courage, truth, goodness, and triumph.

No comments: