Last weekend we went down to Washington DC to see family and old friends. On Saturday the whole gang went to a local pool to cool off. As you might expect, the pool was packed with kids splashing, grown ups lounging and a long line at the diving board. In the cacophony of splashing, screaming and laughter, I began to pick out individual voices. Behind me a Latin family taught their youngest to go underwater. Over in the corner I distinctly made out a few words in German. A Carribean mom beside me shrieked as her son splashed her with water. In the diving board line I could see a South Asian brother and sister behind a blond girl behind a little boy with cornrows.
We all know that America threads different strands together: cultures and classes, colors and creeds mix in beautiful and unexpected ways. As I write these words, I think of the jewelry we make - beads from everywhere, brought together in a new pattern here in Brooklyn. I’ve never thought of our company as quintessentially American, but perhaps we are. Saskia is the daughter of immigrants - the first of her family born in this country - whose life experience was one of living always in-between. Like my grandfather who immigrated from Hungary, or likely some members of your own family, Saskia was raised knowing her heritage but living away from it in a new land where her parents saw opportunity. Her designs reflect that life experience.
On this birthday week of the US of A, I’d like to honor this crazy experiment in immigration and democracy - embodied in Lady Liberty standing just across the water from where I now write. This country at its greatest is one of the singular accomplishments of human civilization: “e pluribus unum” out of the many one. I’d also like to celebrate our diversity: it makes our country strong, adds spice to our food and even makes our jewelry unique.
Enjoy your Independence Day celebration and take a moment to reflect on what a special place it is that we celebrate this week.