Tuesday, July 24, 2012

a day for pioneers

Today, the 24th of July, marks the anniversary of the day that the first Mormon pioneers entered the Salt Lake Valley in 1847. It is a day of parades and fireworks, bonnets and dutch oven dinners. But mostly it is a day for epic stories of incredible sacrifice, courage and faith.

On this Pioneer day, I am reminded of a poem by Carol Lyn Pearson. I was fortunate enough to hear her recite it a couple month ago and find myself going back to again and again. This is how I want to think of my ancestors, who gave up so much and did such extraordinary things. I draw courage from their imperfect examples to do difficult things and face my unique challenges and opportunities with faith.


My people were Mormon pioneers.
Is the blood still good?
They stood by in awe as truth
Flew by like a dove
And dropped a feather in the West.
Where truth flies you follow
If you are a pioneer.

I have searched the skies
And now and then
Another feather has fallen.
I have packed the handcart again
Packed it with the precious things
And thrown away the rest.

I will sing by the fires at night
Out there on uncharted ground
Where I am my own captain of tens
Where I blow the bugle
Bring myself to morning prayer
Map out the miles
And never know when or where
Or if at all
I will finally say,
“This is the place,”

I face the plains
On a good day for walking.
The sun rises
And the mist clears.
I will be alright:
My people were Mormon pioneers.


Here is a video of her reciting it. She is really a remarkable woman and a true pioneer.

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