|Constitutional Convention, Summer, Pennsylvania 1787|
And the burden is yours, by your failure or your choice,
When you've sat all summer in a Pennsylvania hall without air conditioning, and flies buzz 'round your wig,
When you've marched the uphill Pennsylvania miles, and the object still seems far away,
When gray sky and triple digits bear down on you from above,
|Lewis A. Armistead, Confederate Army|
When you watch your strength and numbers and resources drop by ones, fives, scores,
And find you have nothing left;
When those around you can't agree on a solution,
And you can't come up with one on your own,
And outside voices naysay or clamor for the answer,
And the enemy, whatever it may be, physical, metaphysical, financial, emotional, surges all around you to hedge up your way,
When your Pennsylvania summers come—
Do what they did. Finish.
|Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, Union Army|
Don't waste time and energy looking around for someone else to blame or take control.
Drop to your knees or simply mouth a plea to Heaven.
Trust that the Great Finisher Himself hears you from above the clouds and heat and shrapnel.
Raise yourself. Square your shoulders. Then raise your pen. Raise your sword. Set your hat upon its tip.
And write. Run. Charge.
To the Constitution. To the Angle. To the victory.
Keep your dignity. Be dogged.
Be like them.
|Gettysburg, Summer, Pennsylvania, 1863|
That's the American dream—a people who dream big and with prayer, dignity, and doggedness, finish. Despite the heat.
That's a lesson from some great Americans. And Pennsylvania summers.