For the past few years, my husband and I have been fortunate to visit some incredible places across America.  Our vacations are usually a little off the beaten path and at odd times during the year.  We visited Williamsburg, VA on the same day as Queen Elizabeth, experienced a snow storm at the Grand Canyon in May and enjoyed a free concert by Kool and the Gang in Mobile – all unplanned and utterly unique.  More deliberate were visits to the homes of Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, Wisconsin in the fall, Jamestown, the town of Hershey (home of Hershey chocolate), the Jack Daniels distillery, the Smokey Mountains, Biltmore  and several homes designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, including Fallingwater (a long-held goal for this interior designer.) On this 235th anniversary of our country’s independence, I reflect on all the places we’ve visited, the diversity of people and place and the abiding presence of the American spirit. We are fortunate to live in this country founded to protect the liberty of each citizen.   I also remember the many places we visited where our forefathers fought and died protecting that liberty and the freedoms we enjoy.  Thank you to those who came before and those who serve today – we must never forget that freedom is not free.

These are the things that wandered through my mind as I began my Zentangle this morning.  While I wanted the final result to represent this 4th of July holiday, as is the case with Zentangle, the result is a bit of a surprise.  With Zentangle, it is important to know the “rules”  and my intent was to follow them.  But then I realized that America is a bit unique and we are often known to bend the rules a bit.  My blue and red pens called for use today.  Since I’m bending the rules, why not use a star for a string?  Now that I have red, blue and a star, I need some stripes.  You can’t have a 4th of July without the flag and fireworks.  In true Zentangle fashion, as I reflected on the final result and viewed it from every side – it was better at an angle different from the one I used while drawing.  Zentangles are much like America, ever-changing depending on your view, but always the same at their core.

Happy Birthday, America!