While I was, at most times, with others (Eighteen other teachers, along with occasional interns scholars, and other leaders), straying to the side or around a corner allowed me to capture some angles and views that the general public will never see. There are no tourists in these photos, no maintenance workers or vehicles. As I am fond of saying, it was just me and George! Such gives opportunity for reflection, meditation, and prayer before rejoining our group for fellowship and collaboration.
But very soon, the same visitor becomes a giant. A closer look at the wood and soil reveals the weathering and rot that constantly destroys that which is temporary. There is a persistent effort here to restore every item to its 1799 state - that moment at which Washington breathed his last. It is not a simple task. Restoration crews must study deeply the materials and methods used to build Mount Vernon. Only after study do the painters, carpenters, blacksmiths, and many others go to work. Such makes one realize that, as incredible as this man was, he, too, was mortal. His body rests in a brick tomb just a short walk away from the mansion itself. To put it bluntly, George Washington, and every single person who encountered him, is dead. And I am not. That only means that, in the present day, I have more power and control than he has. I have the ability to change the world around me. While I respect the man's tremendous influence on our world, and while I can't help but envy his ability to lead, it is my turn.