“Searching for Treasures in the Sand,” a line from the musical, Ragtime; a sad but promising story of promises made and promises broken down in the early 20th century. This was a time period when there was great tension between the races; much has changed since then, but the atmosphere and tensions between the races has not really changed since then. There are still many Caucasians who look down on those of color.
I was born in the middle of World War II in Newark, New Jersey; ours was a unique neighborhood with Whites, Blacks, Christians, and Jews. All of the children played stickball and touch football in our streets – even some of the girls. Most of our fathers were fighting in Europe and the Pacific. All of our mothers treated us boys the same. With a huge wooden spoon. We skinned our knees, tore our dungarees, and ran from the cops all together; the N-word was never used.
These memories are mine in the sand.
On my 13th birthday, we moved from center city to the suburbs where the few “Negro” families were outcasts except for sports in high school. It was truly a new experience for me. This lasted until at the age of twenty, I entered the Marine Corps where we were again equal. . . we were all green.
I am now rapidly approaching my 80th birthday, so I am no longer a child at the Jersey shore, digging for unfound treasures in the sand. However, what I am now is a fledgling author, writing a daily blog about love, God’s Love, God’s Love for all mankind. I have many friends, Black, White, Christian, Jew, Muslim. It is like I am back on the streets of Newark. I am once again searching for treasures in the sand of my life, finding more riches than I ever expected or truly deserve, found in the people I meet.
Perhaps my searching for treasures in the sand is in fact my searching for God. Found in the faces of those who I meet, faces spanning many colors of God’s rainbow – in Mankind. We are the treasures found in the sands of life.
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:30-31
©Russell Kendall Carter
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