In the sweat on my brow, the blood of my past lies silent. Men – hard working men – gone after many years of holding in rugged hands a shovel, swinging with mighty arms a hammer, yielding a heavy ax with massive shoulders. They have dug, driven or chop to provide the fruits of their labor. Complaints were heard but never the kind, which stop a man from pushing forward.
In the sweat running down my back, the heritage of a family flows. Men – hard working men – have bent to lift or bent under the load, but have never broken. The sun has burnt down on bronzed skin and the bite of winter has sunk its teeth into leathered flesh. They have stretched toward the sky at the beginning of the day to utter, “Thank you!”, and bowed at the end to whisper the same.
In the sweat glistening on my legs, the legacy of fathers and sons and sons and fathers shines. We have been obvious to all around us with all our faults and character, failures and successes, falling and climbing, humility and pride. Perfection has never been the goal, only being better today than yesterday. We have run to the fight; walked away from a few; always stood our ground.
I passed the factory where men worked in sweltering heat. I drove by men on wagons in fields laboring in the afternoon meltdown. There were sounds of hammers and saws cutting through the silence of smothering heat. Equipment scurried in yards manicuring other’s lawns. The history of hard work and determination flows through the collective, multi-cultural, generational veins of men and women of this country.
Yesterday, I did not work harder than many but much more than most. My bones wearied and my mind faltered. My muscles screamed and my hands ached. My legs cramped and my feet asked for no more.