My compass

Last week I was in Washington DC. I walked the streets where MLK once gave his speech.


His words went across the world, not all too long ago. The “I have a dream” speech on the steps of the Lincoln memorial. I stood at the same spot where he gave that speech. It was just a few days before the election. I did had a little zen-moment standing there. And while standing there I heard all sorts of languages around me. DC is such an international place. And it gave me hope just by standing there and seeing people of all sorts & kinds walk up these impressive stairs.

His words,  “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”, flashed through my mind. Freedom matters, having dreams matters. For all kinds. Not judged by a religion or the color of your hair, eyes or skin. It felt good to stand there.


The roots of the Japanese cherry trees around the Tidal Basin even seemed sturdy and confident to me.  Some were still green and some that had to withstand more wind had their leaves on the ground already. The bright warm colors of the leaves gave them even more personality. Textures and colors can do that. To trees and to a lot of things in life I think.


But somewhere in the back of my mind there was this little voice telling me “What if?”


What if my wish for my adopted country during my little zen moment at the top of the Lincoln Memorial stairs wasn’t heard. What if?

It was early in the morning and all the benches were still empty that time of the day. I now, one week after the elections and the results are known, would like to sit on one of those benches. Just for a little bit. To feel that presence of power again. To feel more grounded perhaps.  Walk up to the stairs and face Abraham’s Lincoln’s statue. Could I feel the same again? Or should I feel the same again?


Just stand there and hear all the different languages again. Feel that strength that I know America has shown so often. One of the reason I like this country. Like the cherry trees most American friends I found here are grounded and have an incredible trust in their  country and its constitution.  I still have to learn that I think. I feel a little lost in it all.  My compass is off and acting strange and pointing me in to all these directions I sometimes don’t want to go to or hear about. Too much of the history I learned about back in Europe, showed a direction like this. And besides feeling lost, that really scares me. It is those directions and divides I really don’t want to see happening in the country I love so much.

Never felt like this during the earlier three elections I’ve seen while I lived here. I truly hope that in time this divide will fade and people will come together again. As it makes me so sad to see America like this. Have to move on and will do, but for now I’m in search for  a new compass.


2 thoughts on “My compass

  1. Beautifully written. Made me think how much I appreciated working and living around Washington DC. I know it helped in molding me to the person I am today. Thanks

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