A personal reflection on Pioneer Day

I'm not LDS and I'm not from Utah, so when the locals started talking about Pioneer Day, I was just a little bit lost. They all seemed so enthusiastic. Celebrations and fireworks are said to abound. It is, they say, the celebration of Brigham Young and the first mormon pioneers' pilgrimage into the Salt Lake Valley in 1847.  It's literally a holiday celebrating a pilgrimage. It's celebrated on July 23rd and 24th.

As an outsider, both to the state and to the LDS religion, I've been seeking to find some significance in Pioneer Day that isn't, perhaps, historical or religious, but is instead personal. Trust me when I say it didn't take much looking to see how this particular holiday might apply to our lives of late. It wasn't that long ago, after all, that we took a pilgrimage to Utah. Our move here was harrowing (dramatic, yes?), and difficult, but we made it and happily settled here.

We're both going to be working on Pioneer Day, which is particularly ironic since our pilgrimage to Utah was for Matt's job. Though he won't be here at night to see the fireworks because of his schedule, I'll be watching them from our back patio--they're doing fireworks in a park right around the corner from us. And, as much as I love fireworks under normal circumstances, I think I might love them just a little more this Pioneer Day. A small reminder that, however difficult our journey has been, it's also been wonderful and rewarding.  It's been a hard road, but at the end we found a home.

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