I took this picture Monday as we were leaving the Capitol. It brought a tear to my eye.
The sky was a beautiful blue. And I knew my friend here would be watching over us all until our next return.
As we drove into Oklahoma City that morning, our bus had to wait in line with many others at the Capitol building to park. The dome of the Capitol was clear to see from our vantage point. I looked up and saw this figure on top of the building.
Rather impromptu, I, being in the front seat, turned and asked those on our bus, “Okay teachers, here’s your assignment for the day. How many of you know who is on top of the Oklahoma State Capitol?
I, for one, had no clue. I heard others shout out such names as Pocahontas, Wilma Mankiller, and Mary Fallin.
Wrong! All wrong!
This was not a classroom. Those stand empty. It was okay to cheat. Or research as we teachers would prefer to call it. Everyone had their phones out Googling to see who could find it first.
For those of you, like me, that do not know, let me just give you a little Oklahoma trivia.
The Guardian, as he is so named, is perched on top of our state Capitol dome where he has stood since June of 2002. The bronze statue was created by Enoch Kelly Haney. He stands 17 feet tall, but his staff reaches 22 feet 9 inches. He weighs 5,980 pounds. There is a 9 foot replica of our state warrior on the second floor to view close up if you are so inclined.
A guardian guards, protects and preserves.
This particular one does not represent one tribe alone, but all 39 Oklahoma tribes. His body faces east, the direction the sun rises each morning, symbolizing the renewal of each new day. His head looks to the south, the entrance of the Capitol. He, the Guardian, watches over the entrance and those who enter. His spear pierces his legging symbolizing being connected to the ground and not going anywhere. He will stay as The Guardian watching over the people of Oklahoma.
I was touched to find all the symbolism in our state’s Guardian, especially that he did not represent one tribe. That means he represent teachers and legislators alike, guarding over us all. That reminded me of a favorite scripture on what we should guard. Our heart.
My prayer today is that everyone reading this, and all those that are at our state capitol, whether they be teachers and their supporters, or legislators, that they guard their hearts. From selfish desires. And that they listen to their hearts, and follow that God given voice inside. And lastly, that they do not allow their hearts to turn cold towards our students and the future of our state’s education and all it impacts.
May The Guardian be able to smile down upon his people today. He’s seen and heard a lot from up there. For he knows the hearts of his state’s children are forever safe in the hands of teachers.
Above all else guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. Proverbs 4:23