glory of god

glory of god

Monday, July 18, 2011

Meanwhile in Massachusetts

One of the pleasures of living in Massachusetts is the opportunity to welcome friends from other parts of the United States, Canada, and even Europe to this place so rich with history and meaning. Among my favorite destinations is always the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library & Museum. The way it uses artifacts and video footage to describe Kennedy's legendary presidency is nothing short of awe-inspiring. But that, of course, is because for many the Kennedy presidency itself was awe-inspiring, in its ability to speak to people across the world, in its ability to inspire young Americans, in its hope for a more free and just society. Kennedy's vision is as relevant today, 50 years after his inauguration, as it was then. Today, my friend Heather and I visited the museum and we were especially inspired by a moving poem written by Jacqueline Kennedy on the occasion of their first anniversary.

"Meanwhile in Massachusetts"
By Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy

Meanwhile in Massachusetts Jack Kennedy dreamed

Walking the shore by the Cape Cod Sea

Of all the things he was going to be.

He breathed in the tang of the New England fall

And back in his mind he pictured it all,
The burnished New England countryside
Names that a patriot says with pride

Concord and Lexington, Bunker Hill

Plymouth and Falmouth and Marstons Mill

Winthrop and Salem, Lowell, Revere

Quincy and Cambridge, Louisburg Square.

This was his heritage -- this was his share

Of dreams that a young man harks in the air.
The past reached out and tracked him now

He would heed that touch; he didn't know how.

Part he must serve, a part he must lead

Both were his calling, both were his need.

Part he was of New England stock

As stubborn, close guarded as Plymouth Rock

He thought with his feet most firm on the ground

But his heart and his dreams were not earthbound
He would call New England his place and his creed

But part he was of an alien breed

Of a breed that had laughed on Irish hills

And heard the voices in Irish rills.

The lilt of that green land danced in his blood
Tara, Killarney, a magical flood

That surged in the depth of his too proud heart

And spiked the punch of New England so tart

Men would call him thoughtful, sincere

They would not see through to the Last Cavalier.

He turned on the beach and looked toward his house.

On a green lawn his white house stands

And the wind blows the sea grass low on the sands

There his brothers and sisters have laughed and played

And thrown themselves to rest in the shade.
The lights glowed inside, soon supper would ring

And he would go home where his father was King.

But now he was here with the wind and the sea

And all the things he was going to be.

He would build empires

And he would have sons

Others would fall

Where the current runs

He would find love

He would never find peace

For he must go seeking

The Golden Fleece

All of the things he was going to be

All of the things in the wind and the sea.

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