I was traveling down my well worn path around Beaver Dam Creek just around dusk. The thick summer air was cooling down when my nose started sniffing, sniffing, sniffing. At first I thought I was onto the musty odor of the Sly One. Steadily, I trotted toward some old familiar fox holes. Upon inspection of each foxy den I realized these were not linked to the musty smell of the Red Fox.
Diligently I continued, meandering over a fallen tree here, around a creek bend there, up and over a rock ledge, and down the hill into another creek bend. I heard my master calling me in for dinner but my sniffer tuned out my sharp Cairn Terrier ears. Before I knew it, a haze was all around me and all I heard was the echo of the night. Old Mr. Moon shown on high and shadows played on the strong concrete legs that held the old historic Hibbs Bridge above me.
I felt a shiver go down my wiry silver haired spine.
Music started in my ears, seemingly lifting right out of the water’s depth drifting and dancing under the light of the moon. I heard horses’ hooves pounding across Hibbs Bridge above me. I was shaking in my Brave and Mighty Cairn Terrier skin. I was cold, very, very cold. I was wishing I had turned back and had run straight home when Mrs. B. called me for dinner. Oh why, oh why, did my sniffer have to take me here of all nights?
The trumpets sounded, horses whinnied all around me – there it was drifting sounds of victorious cries lifting my eyes straight to the moon – my eyes as big as saucers in disbelief as I listened to the cry of triumphant song and marching horses hoofs in perfect rhythm to the beat of the Battle Hymn of the Republic! Thunderous, thunderous, I could not escape …
“Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord: He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored; He hath loosed the fateful lightning of His terrible swift sword: His truth is marching on. (Chorus)
Glory, glory, hallelujah! Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah! His truth is marching on.
I have seen Him in the watch-fires of a hundred circling camps; They have builded Him an altar in the evening dews and damps; I can read His righteous sentence by the dim and flaring lamps: His day is marching on. (Chorus)
I have read a fiery gospel writ in burnished rows of steel; As ye deal with my contemners, so with you my grace shall deal; Let the Hero, born of woman, crush the serpent with his heel; Since God is marching on.” (Chorus)
He has sounded forth the trumpet that shall never call retreat; He is sifting out the hearts of men before His judgment-seat; Oh, be swift, my soul, to answer Him! be jubilant, my feet!; Our God is marching on. (Chorus)
In the beauty of the lilies Christ was born across the sea; With a glory in His bosom that transfigures you and me; As He died to make men holy, let us die to make men free; While God is marching on. (Chorus)
He is coming like the glory of the morning on the wave; He is Wisdom to the mighty, He is Succour to the brave; So the world shall be His footstool, and the soul of Time His slave; Our God is marching on.” (Chorus) Credit: (Julia W. Howe)
Brilliant, beautiful, I forgot the chills running up my spine and sat in wonder as American history spiritedly unveiled itself as a dance above the moon before my very eyes.
Circling around the moon as a vision I saw Loudoun County’s own Samuel Means, John Janney, John A Carter. In an outer circle of the first I saw the “burner of bridges” Stonewall Jackson, General McClellan, General Charles P. Stone.
In the middle of the circular vision flames leaped and screams could be heard begging for relief. It was in this circle, that I witnessed barns burning, sheep, cattle, pigs being herded together along with every man under the age of 50 and slaves. I could see a General Sheridan nodding to Grant in agreement to seize all in order to retaliate against Mosby. The cold shivers returned to my wiry Cairn Terrier body.
Just as history was pulling me into the vision of the night I was awakened by the blasting of fireworks and a soft hand gently nudging me into her lap. Laino had found me hiding, shivering under the covers on her bed. I must have drifted into a deep sleep as everyone in the Fields of Athenry Farm family celebrated the birth of our great nation.
I wish you the best this 4th of July and hope you are not visited by the ghost of yester – years past! But do research our beloved American History. It is what has made our nation great!