Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Wisdom From the Arch

I fell in love with St. Louis. It is a clean, pretty city, very easy to travel in. After living in the Chicago area all my life, the traffic there was nothing! Lots of pretty plants, flowers and parks. I felt safe.

While visiting the Arch, we spent some time in the gift store looking at the books. I was captivated by the large number of diary accounts from women who'd gone West. Part of me knows I'd have made a lousy pioneer. Think about how rustic life was back then. I can't get through a day without showering. Back then they only washed up once a week if that. And how would I live without some makeup? Good thing I'm living now though of course modern life brings on a different set of difficulties.

I love the whole symbolism of the Arch. That it is a tribute to those who went Westward despite the dangers and passed through St. Louis as the gateway to a new life. The shape of the Arch is derived from the bridge that was built over the river because St. Louis was missing out on much needed trade to Chicago because they were cut off from trade routes. The designer of the bridge had never built one before and used arches in the construction. Even today, bridges follow his structural design.

Even way back then, men and women advertised for mates in the personals. But I saw that most advertising were widows, usually with a child or two. They were willing to travel Westward for another chance at marriage. This just confirms my belief that there is something inside us that seeks companionship on an imtimate level.

One of the diary accounts I was leafing through ended with this: the authour was at the end of her life somewhere on the West coast. She had lived as a rancher admitting that her life at times had been very hard. But she added, a life without challenges didn't seem to her to be as full when compared to an easier life when everything always went well.

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