(A beautiful morn at Churchill Downs. The sun is rising. So are the horses. So is the 2020 Kentucky Derby, to be held on the “First Saturday in September.” / Coady Photography & Courtesy of Churchill Downs)
As the sun stuck its’ nose from under a blanket of sky and clouds this morning and welcomed a new day, the Twin Spires stood majestically above the fray of 2020 and said hello to the horses and the horse people that strode over the Churchill Downs’ track just below.
Strong and sturdy. Unwavered. A reminder of the history that has survived 145 previous runnings of the Kentucky Derby. And, an encouragement that another Derby will be run soon on the “First Saturday in September.”
Those Spires are like the smell of the morning coffee, or the sound of bacon sizzling in the cast iron. They are like the newspaper used to be — faithfully sitting on the front porch for your arrival. Full of both good and upsetting news. Full of fair reporting. Yet, always there. Always waiting. Always welcoming. Always reassuring.
Those Spires are — and always have been — faithful reminders that no matter what happens today, there is always a tomorrow. Always. And, we will rise to face another day…another challenge. Always.
They are like our ocean seas that splash against our beaches. They are like our mountains that rise above us all and touch the hand of God. When we wake? They are there. When we fall into slumber, they are there. In the days of lightning and thunder, they stand and do not run. In the days of sun and splash, they take the first blow. They are there. Always. And, while they sit at Churchill Downs, they are ours. They are Kentucky’s.
Louisville may have its’ struggles these days. Our faith in each other may be strained and anger may be whipping peace’s buttocks, right now. Our people and the world’s people may be under siege from a sneak attack by a cowardly virus that strangles the weak and the old. Our spirit may be shaken. Our resolve may be wobbled. Our future may be questioned.
But if you want a reminder of just how strong we can be, and will be again? If you want a reassurance of our spirit and commitment? If you want something tangible to look up to and know that things are going to be OK?
Take a look at those Twin Spires, which have stood the test of tough times before.
Take a gander up at those Twin Spires, that witnessed the social unrest of the 1960s and said hello to the most amazing instrument of peace and words — Dr. Martin Luther King — upon his arrival here many sunrises ago.
Take a look at those Twin Spires that have survived two World Wars; 9-11; other viruses; pandemics of suffering and shame; and many other strains and strifes. Cast your eyes heavenly to the skies and look at the Twin Spires.
They point upward.
They point onward.
They point to the sky, which truly is our only limit.
They point to God Almighty. My God. Your God. Our God. They point to faith.
They give us hope and directions, long before we had Google Maps.
They will tell you without saying a single word.
We stand here with you.
We stand here by your side.
We stand here today.
We will be here tomorrow.
Because, if anything else, the Twin Spires remind, reassure us, and, in the end, can convince us:
These times, too, shall pass.
And, when they do?
We will all stand together. Hopeful. Better. Stronger.
Not perfect, still. And, a bit weathered, true.
But tougher. Sturdier. And, we pray, more fair and understanding of all God’s people. We all can stand a new coat of paint in that department, from time to time.
We will stand as one. Again.
We will sing one song. Again.
With one finger pointing to the sky. Just like those Twin Spires.
And, we will rejoice. Again.