The First Republic

This story is a prologue to the novel The Love of Liberty Brought Us Here.

The dove ascends into the cloudless azure with an open scroll in its talons. It contains messages of love and liberty, and how neither exists without the other. From which period and area this dove appeared are unknown, only that it has been before anyone’s recollection. But as long as the indigenous people have lived here, they have seen this dove on rare occasions. Elder locals would tell the youth times of their adolescence when the dove would regularly be seen soaring high above the town, always with that scroll. Nowadays it was a treasure to have laid eyes on it in person. If you had the privilege of seeing the “letter bird” with your pair of pupils, then you had the responsibility to also share that experience with your people. Make it as if they were right there with you.

Nobody knew exactly where the dove nested, as much as the kids tried to follow the bird hoping to find and read that letter. It was rumored to be in the tallest palm tree down by the beach, but no confirmation of a nest ever appeared. Great things happened in the presence of that bird. The shaping of nations, efforts of progression, and the quality of oneness. The republic leaders wanted to capture the bird, milk its benefits to their ultimate profit. But the elders knew that the bird was not for the people and belonged to the land. They also knew that if they wanted those ultimate profits, they too must fully commit themselves to belong to that same land.

But currently, the land was being abused by its stewards. The trees, which were originally planted to clean the air were now being cut down to be sold to the highest bidder. The mining of iron ore and rubber from the earth caused damaging effects to the beautiful natural landscapes, with most of the benefits leaving the country or going towards a minority ruling elite. This ruling elite had recently escaped persecution in a foreign land, but Stockholm syndrome had made them feel they must bring their captors’ traditions and imperialistic mindset to ‘establish’ this new great nation. One that would be free of the oppression they were looking to escape.

They first arrived on grand ships, large vessels needing multiple sails and an experienced captain. Some of those who returned still remember first touching the sand. The warm shore roasted by the rising sun breathed a new life into their lungs. One that, for the first time in a long time, held hope. Looking back, the oceans’ horizons held both the horror of the past and the promise of a new day. They noticed the abundance of palm trees and knew they would never go without sustenance. The original people of the land promised to preserve and protect the natural environment as they had found it. They wanted the land to come first, knowing that we were only put here as stewards. From the earth we come, so shall we return.

During that time, they knew it was in their best interests to establish a philosophy of dignity of labor, aspiring to cultivate a society of mutual respect. They had seen firsthand what happens when ideologies of inferiority and superiority were propagated- as if any sort of caste system could compare to God’s wishes. They wished to stray away from those systems, understanding that we must all toil together towards the promise of prosperity.

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Robin Moulton

Robin Moulton

“I just want to create beauty.” - Radcliffe Bailey