First, the hard stuff: Columbus Day is such a controversial holiday, with one side gloriying and the other side vilifying. I’ll be the first to say that there is no excuse for the atrocities that were committed by him, or in his name. However, after I read The Four Voyages, his own account of his exploits in the “New World,” I realized what a complex, and very human, person he really was. He never knew, or refused to acknowledge, what he actually discovered. Ultimately, his life story, and the events that followed his “discovery,” were a tragedy. I find it strange that five centuries after Columbus first set foot on a continent previously unknown to Europeans, his achievements are recognized with a bank holiday. While I appreciate having my husband home on a day he would ordinarily be at work, the two events seem so unrelated.
Now the easy stuff: We used part of his “day off” to take a walk, something we rarely get to do together with two young children in the mix. It was a beautiful fall day, nearly eighty degrees, with a clear sky and bright sun. Our little town always affords lots of photographic opportunities. Orange leaves aflame against a complimentary blue sky, and hydrangeas blooming and fading from pink to red to brown. Fall is bursting with color, and I am enjoying every minute of it.