Past Perception

Pic through a glaring windshield, K.L. Hale.
Pic by K.L. Hale
It's been nearly four years since I've driven that amazing and scenic road. Even after four visits I'll never grow tired of the view. I long for it. My little travel notebook contains my route. I was leaving Great Falls and headed to Gillette. Approaching Highway 16, my heart started racing. Running east-west between Rapid City, South Dakota and Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming, this is one of my favorite highways. The rock tunnels and the glittering of the Black Hills stirs my soul. I know after passing Jewel Cave I'll soon be near Custer. The past few visits I traveled to Mt. Rushmore first and then over to the Crazy Horse Memorial. But this time I wanted to see the corners differently on Hwy 244. Either way, this little stretch of road is bustling and beautiful. 

Yesterday evening, when thinking of President’s Day today (remember I’m a history buff ;-), I wrote four cinquain poems that helped “frame” my thoughts. Thoughts of presidents, past and present, tended me. Immediately I also thought of Mt. Rushmore and my love for historical monuments-the meaning behind them and the tireless work of sculptors and their team. Sadly, I thought of the divisiveness in our country. To some, monuments hold truths. To some, they’re a disgrace. I can approach such places with open-mindedness of the times, fascination with the actual work, and also a sadness. I understand it all. Glittering gold can grow greed. Money will never replace the sacredness. We can’t change history. But we can learn from it, hopefully. And if we, as citizens of a huge nation filled with different beliefs, cannot visit such places with understanding and respect for others besides ourselves, we won’t be known for expanding good; our history will only be known 100 years from now wiping everything away and starting from scratch. God’s the only one that wipes out our past and gives us fresh starts. May our monuments create meaning. May our dissention develop dialogue. May our history help heal us, not haunt us, or hasten us to harbor hate.

I made it a point to stop near Chamberlain, South Dakota again. There she is. The Dignity Sculpture. This 50 ft. tall statue, designed by Dale Lamphere, was made to honor a culture I respect so much-the Lakota and Dakota people. There’s no way to describe her beauty as she stands so amazingly protecting the Missouri River. As we honor Presidents, past and present, may the founding of this country be recognized for what it was. A struggle. Every day as a citizen is a struggle. May the struggles erase complacency. May we reach across race, gender, and culture and shake a hand of a fellow citizen. On this day of great retail sales and a time off of work, may we find a way to truly understand why these holidays exist. And why do we?

Pic by K.L. Hale-Dignity is a beautiful thing
K.L. Hale
K.L. Hale
Pic and poem by K.L. Hale
Pic and poem by K.L. Hale (Paha Sapa-“Black Hills of the Dakota” by the Lakota)


Yesterday morning I attended a gathering of believers in a small log cabin near where I love to hike. A cute small guy, whose family was visiting from Kansas City, even rung the church bell. No running water, but a bit of heat, and plenty of folks crammed in to fellowship. I had stepped back in time. We sang from hymnals, laughed about life, and heard these words, “A life with Christ isn’t easy. It’s a struggle. And you’ll have many many storms. Storms can’t be prevented. But with God, we are storm proof.” Thank you, Larry. I understand it well. When you survive the storms, to whom gets the credit? Know you’re loved. No matter what.

Pic-K.L. Hale-today, the temperatures are a beautiful near-70 degrees. And just like the last several weeks, freezing rain and wintry weather is predicted AGAIN mid-week. I hope to get out now and go take more pics of this precious cabin and provide some history later on.

Have faith 🤍

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42 thoughts on “Past Perception

  1. Well-done my sister. I felt like I was taking the journey with you, through the rock tunnels, gazing up at Mount Rushmore, and marveling at the other sites. Your exhortation to reach across division and shake the hand of a fellow citizen is exactly what we all need to hear. Thank you, Karla. Sending love to you and Finn on this sunny PA day.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Julie. I’m glad you enjoyed the drive. I often think of it. And so many other favorite road that lead to mountains, rivers, and so many beautiful places we have here. Now if us humans can extend the beauty…Sending love right back to you, Rocko, and crew. 💛🙏🏻❤️🐶

      Liked by 1 person

  2. atimetoshare.me

    Beautiful tour of Mount Rushmore, a great tribute to four American presidents. I love America and all that she stands for – we the people, freedom, patriotism, the American dream. I was really impressed by the memorial. It is sad that it had to carved out of a sacred mountain, but I’m thankful that it’s beauty is maintained and cared for. Great photos along with your words. Like you say, “We can’t change history, but we can learn grim it.”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Kathy, thank you for your words and support. I’m glad the culture is recognized and am thankful for the museums and experiences. The National Parks and monuments really took a “beating” when so many decided to buy RV’s during Covid and see our country. I hope everyone can work together to keep it that way. Perspectives and perceptions are based on our own experiences and cultural lenses for sure. And our moral beliefs. Even like Mt. Rushmore, Crazy Horse has it’s own critics. The mountain top bought by the sculptor, Korczak Ziolkowski, hired by a Sioux Chief Henry Standing Beard, is still a sacred mountain. There will always be criticism and cries of injustice in this world. But one day…💛🙏🏻

      Liked by 1 person

  3. There is always two sides to a story, simply because our life always has two sides to it also…love and hate, anger and happiness, sadness and joy. And they cannot be understood without first experiencing one side so that we can then understand the other. Eventually we find that balance that love is within us. Great post dear lady, I hear a yearning for another journey, even if just within 😀 ❤️ 🙏🏽 🦋

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Beautiful words, Mark. Thank you for sharing your wisdom and enlightened heart. And for your support, too! We were wired for love. That, or the lack thereof, really does skew our sight. I try hard in the little things~i.e.~dealing with a very negative situation at my local Dollar Store just today. Love can really spread if we just begin at our homes. I do yearn for the open roads. I’m doing a study right now about “Chasing Wonder”! It started as a very young girl. And I’m so blessed to have been to many places. But I’m still a young girl, lol, God-willing. But first things must come first. But there’s no reason not to stop. One day I’ll be halted by my health and I’m just trying to slow some issues down. I’ve enjoyed my book of my home state and am looking forward to the great things near here still yet to do. But for me to have more extensive cultural experiences, my radius of roving needs to grow. 💛🙏🏻🙌🏻⭐️⭐️🙏🏻🙏🏻

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Karla; That is one of my favorite parts of the country to drive through, but we have not been through in a long, long time. Need to correct that oversight ASAP!

    You really make me pause and think when you write about the struggles our country has endured in its founding and continuation. You are so correct to point those out, and also to remind your readers that this will likely continue to be the case as long as this great nation continues. I am proud to call myself an American and fly a flag on the front of my house every day. But that doesn’t mean I don’t struggle deeply with the knowledge that much of the initial economic might of this country was built on the backs of slave laborers. I for one would like to see a much more widespread acknowledgement of that reality than I have seen in my life. That won’t undo the harm done to those children of God, but it would be a great act of national repentance.

    OK. I’ll get off the soapbox now.

    Have a blessed day and stay warm as the cold front that just hit Colorado today moves your direction.

    – Russell

    On Mon, Feb 21, 2022 at 10:25 AM Flannel with Faith wrote:

    > K.L. Hale posted: ” Pic through a glaring windshield, K.L. Hale. Pic by > K.L. Hale It’s been nearly four years since I’ve driven that amazing and > scenic road. Even after four visits I’ll never grow tired of the view. I > long for it. My little travel notebook contains ” >

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Russell, I appreciate your feedback so much. It’s a “touchy” topic. I fly a flag because I can. I have two sons serving in our Air Force and there is so much about our county that I love. There’s so much to see. I would bet most people throughout the world would admit there are times they’re not proud of where they live or how it “functions”. Rather than bury my head in the sand I’ll acknowledge my own wrong-doings, and as a country, a little less ego would go a long way. Those who were hurt in the name of progress have their own groups that can hurt back. Isn’t that human? There’s good and bad in all. Amidst us all there are those who wish only to dish hate. But we know what is written and why this exists. I’ll get off my soapbox too, lol. When I think about the heaven on Earth here in all the beautiful places surrounding us, I think of the greatest place waiting for us!
      That weather you were talking about is here. Just today the temps dropped 30 degrees in 3 hours. This is the THIRD week in a row we’ve swung from record highs to record lows with a dash of snow, ice, sleet, you name it. I always try to count my blessings as I count the days to Spring. I could really use prayer, Russell. I know many others have it worse, I acknowledge that. But I tweaked my back thinking I could shovel the first round several weeks ago. I have degenerative disc disease, spinal stenosis, …my skeletal frame is a disaster; and my brain struggles at times too. BUT FOR GOD. I need to let go of my ego; hence, I’ve asked some neighbor boys for future help. I won’t be seeing any beauty around me if I don’t take better care! LOL! Spring is coming,…better days ahead! Thank you again, Russell, for prayers and support. I hope you and Joan stay safe!

      Like

  5. I went to Mt. Rushmore in high school and it just happened to be a very foggy day, so we didn’t get to see anything hahaha! We had to go back the next morning just before leaving town. A pretty cool place, as is all of South Dakota

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Mt. Rushmore is one place I haven’t been to yet. You are so very right about history – we can’t change it and we shouldn’t ignore it or forget it. History is a guidepost to show us how far we have come – hopefully on a path toward good!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. My husband is a history major so you two would enjoy talking about history. Great message and amen “We can’t change history. But we can learn from it, hopefully” and change the present-, and each-day in the future that God allows existence. Have a wonderful day my friend and be safe.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Let’s face it Karla, to be the same would be rather boring.
    What if the Earth was flat. Who would like that?
    Even though there are disagreements we can still
    love each other. It’s true Karla, you know it to be
    true for yourself. Have a great day, blessed, and
    full of smiles, Eddie

    Liked by 1 person

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