Probably 5 out of 7 nights a week the Johnston house has a full out dance party. The five of us clear the living room, crank TIDAL over the speakers and dance our troubles away. This may not come as a surprise to our neighbours, who can likely hear The Chainsmokers or Lumineers or Eric Church blast from our rafters on a fairly regular basis, but it’s one of our ‘things.’ None of us can dance, and we certainly can’t sing – but throwing on our music and prancing around the house is in some way – therapeutic.
We take turns, each of us getting to pick our music or our favourite songs – you’d be surprised who in our house likes to belt out Taylor Swift or solemnly sway to Passenger, but we all have our favourites and those favourites fill our home.
My middle son has the most varied and sophisticated taste in music. He’s constantly introducing new musical gems into our repertoire, very often powerful and anthemic in nature, these songs are quickly becoming Johnston classics. One of our recent favourites, brought to us by our almost seven-year-old, is a song called Warrior by Imagine Dragons.
At first I simply found the music catchy and empowering, but as I listened to the lyrics of this song I couldn’t help think of our little town.
One of the lines from the chorus goes as follows;
We are the warriors who built this town.
The song talks about those who labour. Who work hard. Who struggle and over come. It talks about those who have to prove their worth, and rise above, and be their best. It talks about the people who built ‘this’ town.
And I stand in my kitchen some nights and watch my children dance to the music, or spin in our living room or jump around in their father’s arms and I think – if there’s ever a town worth fighting for, being a warrior for, it is the town where I raise my children.
And I know I’m not the only one who feels like our towns are worth being warriors for. As we reflect on the heroes and soldiers and people who gave their lives, we realize that generations of people have been willing to fight to build this town. To make it safe, to make it great.
Perhaps some of them were soldiers, people who quite literally put on armor and fought for us.
Perhaps some of those warriors were farmers. Women and Men who even today, fight against drought and storm. Who brave harsh winters and famine and sandy soil. Who have woken up before the dawn to carry on, long into the night.
They too, are the warriors who built this town.
And parents. Those dads and moms who fight against tiredness and uncertainty. Who defend their children and fiercely protect them and adamantly support them.
Those parents, are the warriors who built this town.
Those who struggle with illness. The very battle which they fight is simply to make it through, yet another day. They are incredible warriors, who built this town.
The teachers who fight for quality education for our students.
Our Doctors who fight to get us the help we need.
Each of us, in our own way, from the blue collar worker to the specialist. From the new mom, to the aging grandfather, from the soldier, to the preacher to the janitor who cleans our halls.
We, we are the warriors who built this town.
Because building a great town isn’t done without hard work, without dedication and a bunch of incredibly tough people who face down hardship and trial and tragedy and who overcome.
And I think our town is worth fighting for. I want my children to always feel as welcome and safe and happy as they do when they dance around our home singing their favourite songs.
We have a long history of incredible people who have built this town…
May I always do my best to join the efforts and be a warrior for the amazing little town where I get to raise my family.
A huge thank you, to all those who ‘built’ or continue to build, this town!