WASHINGTON – A while ago I found in a Virginia thrift shop an old color photograph of Monticello, the home of Thomas Jefferson. The frame was cheap and dented. But the photograph was undamaged.
Monticello in the Spring
I bought it because it shows Monticello in the Spring. The famous mansion is surrounded by bright green trees and bushes full of flowers.
But there was something else that attracted me to this old snapshot. Monticello, the home of the author of the Declaration of Independence, looks beautiful and almost resplendent in the bright sunshine, while lovely flowers surround it.
It seems as if the sunlight shines right on the front entrance. The white columns are stark. It all looks solemn, and at the same time serene and inviting.
A new frame
I ordered a new, beautiful frame for this photograph. And I picked it up from the frame shop just a few days ago. And now I placed Monticello in the Spring on the wall in front of my desk. As I look, with some reverence, at this historic home, it makes me think about Jefferson and about the other Founders.
They had a dream about a workable free society that could endure, as long as its citizens and elected representatives had the wisdom to find and keep the correct balance between the protection of individual pursuits and the caring for the common good.
The Founders’ vision
How is America doing, these days? May be not so great. However, as we just celebrated another anniversary of the Declaration of Independence that Jefferson wrote, I believe that his vision of a good society in which people are mostly wise is still viable and possible.
As I look again at Monticello, Jefferson’s home, surrounded by beautiful flowers and almost resplendent in the bright sun light, I really believe that it is well within our powers to continue the good work of America’s Founders.