Ever since West Virginia, I’ve approached statues with a different mind and heart. I’d made a promise and wanted to honor that, regardless of being in front of a different statue, hundreds of miles away. I silently asked permission to approach as I made my way down the path. I came up behind her and walked around to the front. There I saw the offerings. I had nothing to leave, but really, I had no intention of leaving any tangible tokens of my visit. Indeed, I doubted that I had anything that would measure up to the gifts already given to her by pilgrims who had come before me. My shoulders sagged for a moment, and then, remembering my promise, they straightened. I offered my tribute, gave a nod, and walked back the way I came.

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