Honoring MLK in the Aftermath of a Snowstorm

January 18th, 1937, Saint Mark’s Place, Manhattan, Maggie’s diary continues:

Poured all day yesterday so got up late, M. read Capt. Liddell Hart’s Outline of War, and bits from Chesterton’s autobiography while I read another baby book, Dr. Josephine Kenyon’s which Lank Osborn recommended and which is good though I rather prefer Bartlett.  Bakes spareribs. Over to Griemes for bridge, and they showed us how the bck cover of the dreadfully cheap new picture magazine Look could be folded so that all the pictures on the back become filthy; definite policy of mag they say.  Tormented them with Grandma Likes. Enlisted their aid in my campaign against new Fifth Ave buses by showing them letter to editor that M. wrote for me the other day and published this morning. Told them about my budding correspondence with president of company. Thalia also hates middle doors and paying as she enters.

January 18th, 1937, Brattleboro, Vermont, What Was Her Grandaughter, Yours Truly, Doing?

Isn’t it wild that my grandma Maggie didn’t know who Martin Luther King Jr. was yet because he would have been only an eight year old little boy in Georgia, with perhaps no idea that one day the whole world would wake up and observe his birthday and talk about the way he changed a nation and how non-violence and love can really be stronger than violence and weapons?

While we slept it snowed and snowed and snowed and when we woke up on Martin Luther King’s birthday (or thereabouts, he was born on the 15th), the mountain looked like it had frosting all over it!!!   Peter was observing The Reverend King’s birthday and so was I, so we quick put on our snowshoes and grabbed our camera and ran down to the river, which is frozen in great slabs of ice that look like Antarctica.

The path we snowshoed down is exactly the same path that we take in the summer when it is hot hot hot, and the corn grows long, and you can jump from the bank into the cool water and do the backstroke all the way up to Newfane.  In the nude, of course, since no one at all wears clothes in the summer in Vermont.

But today we were all bundled up in our gators and mittens, and P. and I played like little children. We went tromping through the forest and up onto the ridge, and we threw snowballs and played hide and seek and listened to the birdies sing and closed our eyes and heard everything melting, drip drip drip.  We watched miniature avalanches fall and took pictures of gigantic icicles and the trees kept dropping great snowmelts on our heads that went plop and made our faces wet.  We saw a huge broad-winged hawk flapping its wings right in front of us, offering us a ride.  When we got hungry, we ate chocolate-covered raisins and bananas until finally we found ourselves in the middle of a pine kingdom, great towering trees that reached up to the sky.  We were near an old hunting camp, the black tar paper hanging like drying tobacco leaves, and everything still and a little spooky. And we kissed in what looked like an old beaver dam.

On the way back, we saw beech trees growing out of the sides of mountains and a rope swing P sometimes swings from in the summer.  I climbed a huge snowbank, and played king of the mountain, alone. So I won. Then we came home and climbed into bed and napped luxuriously in one another’s arms.

I am very grateful to Mr.  Martin Luther King Jr. for being born and for having a dream that was so big and wide it changed the whole world. When I woke up I thought maybe I should try to think up a dream that was equally amazing, but instead I looked up all his great quotes to give me some inspiration, and to remember that forever and ever love is always the way, and, even if someone has to sacrifice their lives for justice, it prevails in the end.

My favorite MLK quotes:

Faith is taking the first step, even when you don’t see the whole staircase.

I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality. That is why right, temporarily defeated, is stronger than evil triumphant.

Man must evolve for all human conflict a method which rejects revenge, aggression and retaliation. The foundation of such a method is love.

Now, I say to you today my friends, even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream. I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: – ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.’

Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men.

Well, this last one is a little sad.  Maybe we are changing this one by spreading a little love in things like blogs and letters and walks in the snow and naps and reading our grandmothers’ diaries aloud to the whole wide world. Who knows?  See you next time everybody!!!!

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