Growing up in Cedar Falls, Iowa, it was a dream for my family to spend a summer in France while my dad was on a librarian exchange in Paris.  I was eight when we packed up to make Rouen, France our summer adventure.

It was in Rouen that I tried my first sip of coffee, learned the merits of freshly baked pastries, joyfully practiced how to order ice cream in French, and experienced an early feminist & religious awakening in the very town where Joan of Arc was burnt at the stake.

It wasn’t until high school and college that my French language skills moved (admittedly marginally) past elementary, but already it was clear at that young age that the French language had something fascinating:  verbs that conjugated differently depending on the pronoun.  (Full disclosure, my mom is a retired English teacher so my geeking out about this wasn’t entirely a surprise).

This is why, when I came across Walt Whitman’s Song of the Open Road, and it read, “Allons, the road is before us…” I adored the use of the plural present form.  We go.  To me, this is a fitting call to action for those who wish to explore the future.  We go, together.  We share an interconnected, interdependent future.  Allons…

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