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One Moment of Freedom

November 5, 2012

As I was walking into my office a few days ago I saw something that I’ve never seen before. A grey squirrel was sitting on a ledge at the top of the two story building. A common enough sight of itself but out of the corner of my eye I caught movement coming from above and to the left of me. A huge majestic raptor was arcing in for the kill wings swept back at full speed its beauty was matched by its obvious lethality talons extended ready to bring a swift end to the squirrel perched unwittingly in the perfect place to become the next meal for the mighty hawk.  But as I watched the bird race home, something happened that I didn’t expect in the least, as talons made contact the squirrel twisted and flexed fighting for its life against this sudden airborne terror full of claws and death. Amazingly the squirrel evaded the initial grasp and the hawk hovered grappling with his unexpectedly spirited dinner.  And just when the hawk seemed sure secure his inevitable victory and proceeding meal the squirrel jumped. Not into a nearby branch, bush or twig but he leapt out into the void paws outstretched grasping, clawing he dove free for one brief moment he was airborne barking his defiance he plunged and to no certain fate he fell but his fate was in his hands. He could have remained atop his sure perch and died in that moment that he was experiencing life and freedom, but because he leapt for one moment he flew and lived courageously.

It was quite simply the most beautiful thing I’ve witnessed in nature. That squirrel has more courage, more will to live free than the American people. We would rather stay safe within a comfortable coffin than leap out and risk that moment of terror and freedom and life that gives us a chance at living out who we want to be.

I write this on the eve of the most important election in American history. I do not engage in hyperbole, we face a simple choice of comfort and convenience at the price of our liberty and freedom or risk and hardship but to continue as free people. The noose around our neck is silk and it closes slowly but it is there upon our veins and we must in this moment slip from its embrace or we will take this next step, more than likely the last step into the next thousand years of darkness. To accept our fate is easy, we just rest easy here safe on our perch, the ground firmly beneath our feet as a voice whispers “the end is swift, it won’t hurt a bit, it will be like sleep and you love sleep” it’s so easy to do but what is the cost? Or, in one last burst of life do we risk a leap into the void hands extended, clawing, grasping for purchase looking to divine providence to see us to the ground that last moment of life held firmly in our outstretched arms, our minds content that whatever end we find we met it as free men on our terms?

I do not know what America will decide tomorrow but I know what Americans have always decided when faced with the easy embrace of slavery and the death of spirit or that last desperate leap of life into the unknown.

Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!
Patrick Henry – March 23, 1775

If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude than the animating contest of freedom–go from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains sit lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen!
Samuel Adams – August 1, 1776

And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

The People of the United States – July 4th, 1776

So my fellow Americans, I say to you, choose freedom and LEAP!

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