As written by John Mitchum in 1973 — and shared here several years ago — my sense is it may be wise to pause, re-read and remember, especially now…
You ask me why I love her? Well, give me time, and I’ll explain…
Have you seen a Kansas sunset or an Arizona rain?
Have you drifted on a bayou down Louisiana way?
Have you watched the cold fog drifting over San Francisco Bay?
Have you heard a Bobwhite calling in the Carolina pines?
Or heard the bellow of a diesel in the Appalachia mines?
Does the call of Niagara thrill you when you hear her waters roar?
Do you look with awe and wonder at a Massachusetts shore…
Where men who braved a hard new world, first stepped on Plymouth Rock?
And do you think of them when you stroll along a New York City dock?
Have you seen a snowflake drifting in the Rockies… way up high?
Have you seen the sun come blazing down from a bright Nevada sky?
Do you hail to the Columbia as she rushes to the sea…
Or bow your head at Gettysburg… in our struggle to be free?
Have you seen the mighty Tetons? …Have you watched an eagle soar?
Have you seen the Mississippi roll along Missouri’s shore?
Have you felt a chill at Michigan, when on a winters day,
Her waters rage along the shore in a thunderous display?
Does the word “Aloha”… make you warm?
Do you stare in disbelief when you see the surf come roaring in at Waimea reef?
From Alaska’s gold to the Everglades… from the Rio Grande to Maine…
My heart cries out… my pulse runs fast at the might of her domain.
You ask me why I love her?… I’ve a million reasons why.
My beautiful America… beneath Gods’ wide, wide sky.
My prayer is that in all this festering, polarizing crud that surrounds us, we never miss the beauty embedded in the Kansas sunset, Arizona rain, Missouri shore, Michigan chill, Alaskan cold, or in the Rockies, way up high. May we never miss the beauty in all the diverse people groups — with varied passions and preferences, convictions and commitments — from Nevada to New York City… from Massachusetts to Mississippi… May we never be numb to God’s beauty. May it always move and delightfully surprise us.