Balance is the key to everything. One day a hike, the next a museum.
The William J Clinton Presidential Center & Park is so much more than a museum though. Oh sure it has the usual stuff — exhibits about his vision and accomplishments and displays pertinent to life in the White House.
I also learned about Bill’s upbringing, his family life and how he decided to pursue the presidency in his pubescent years! He blazed his own trail to the white house from that day forward.
I walked through a reconstructed model of the staff room and the Oval Office. I saw pictures and documents, historical data and political data. All in all, it was a lesson on the struggles and victories that anyone might encounter on their way to and while living in the White House.
But who knew I’d encounter the Xtreme Bug Exhibit there? Apparently, Mr. Clinton is an avid fan of bugs’ abilities to leverage the power of cooperation. See the ClintonFoundation.org’s full article on the exhibit and why it’s a natural fit for the museum.
“According to the Pulitzer Prize winning biologist E.O. Wilson, ants, termites, bees, and people are among the most successful species on earth because they are the greatest cooperators,” said President Bill Clinton. “Insects are a window into how our world works, and show us how species thrive through cooperation – whether a colony of ants, or a community of people working together to make the world a better place.”
And, who knew I’d be awed by the beauty of Clinton Park? Thirty acres of reclaimed land (previously a run-down warehouse district) that is now a stunning public recreation area and a prime example of urban renewal in our country.
Who knew I’d find the Choctaw Train Station, also situated on the Clinton Presidential Center Campus? It’s now restored and home to the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service, the first school in the nation to offer a Masters Degree in Public Service.
And, most surprising, who knew I’d find the headquarters for Heifer International, with a school and animals right here as well? (Check it out, one of my favorite non-profit organizations, all about promoting self-sufficiency.)
And who knew I’d find a garden that recognizes Anne Frank among others on the very same ground, with words that humble me and remind me that my life is blessed beyond measure.
“From my favorite spot on the floor, I look up at the blue sky and the bare chestnut tree, on whose branches little raindrops shine, appearing like silver, and at the seagulls and other birds as they glide on the wind…As long as this exists, I thought, and I may live to see it, this sunshine, the cloudless skies, while this last, I cannot be unhappy.”