“The infant periods of most nations are buried in silence, or veiled in fable, and perhaps the world has lost little it should regret. But the origins of the American Republic contain lessons of which posterity ought not to be deprived.” —James Madison
I don’t believe in muses. Writing is not a matter of inspiration. It's more of a compulsion. Think about all of the famous authors that wrote until the last shovel of dirt was thrown onto their grave. Most people retire when the get enough money. Not bestselling writers. They just keep going. They write because they loved writing. That said, I actually have a muse of sorts. It’s Concord, Massachusetts. Some of my fondest memories are of that historic village about twenty-five miles north/west of Boston.
I lived in Boston for three years and consulted there for many many more. When I was consulting, I frequently spent two weeks in the city. I discovered that I could catch a commuter train Friday night and spend the weekend in Concord. I must have done this dozens of times, sometimes with my wife, but often alone.
Concord was peaceful, pleasant, and friendly. I stayed at the Colonial Inn, where in 1775, rebels had hidden guns and ammunition. The shot heard ‘round the world was only a mile or so down the road. Tourists visit Concord because of its iconic place in the American Revolution. Many are surprised by the town’s grand literary heritage. Nathanial Hawthorne, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Louisa May Alcott, Doris Kearns Goodwin, and Robert B. Parker have all called Concord home. No wonder Henry James dubbed the village, "the biggest little place in America."
Congress designated September 17th as Constitution Day (celebrated this year on Monday, September 18th). Two hundred and thirty years ago, thirty-nine delegates to the Federal Convention signed this venerablefounding document.
Congress made an error. I believe our elected
representatives should have chosen June 21. On that date, New Hampshire became
the ninth state to ratify the Constitution, making it the "supreme law of
the land." I believe James Madison would concur. Delegate signatures were
important, but only as a milestone. Legitimacy depended not on esteemed
delegates, but on ratification by conventions of the people. After all, it's
our name that appears first, and in bold, outsized characters. So, as we go
about our busy day, let's take a moment to celebrate