The Veil Is Thin

This is the time of year when the veil between the living and the dead, the physical and the non-physical, is thin,  though perhaps if we consider within us cells are constantly dividing and dying, this is always true, but it feels so much more clear with the increasing darkness, and here, for me today, rain.  The hills return to green. 

I’ve lit candles for this day, the honoring of those who’ve passed.  I feel them gather in one embrace, gather close as I pause to honor expansion and embrace.

Today I read this short story by Stephen Crane, An Episode of War.

May it be a reminder of turning these darkening days toward compassion, connection, and peace.

https://americanliterature.com/author/stephen-crane/short-story/an-episode-of-war

By the Bay

Memorial Day Weekend

I’m reading “We Came, We Saw, We Left: A Family Gap Year” where a family of five travels together for a year.  I’m paused now where they are in Stone Town, the capital city of Zanzibar and a World Heritage site.  When they visit the small museum, they learn that slavery created this cross-cultural outpost.  

“Slaves were captured in the interior of Africa, brought to Zanzibar, and then exported to the rest of the world.”

“At the height of the slave trade, sixty thousand humans were trafficked through Zanzibar every year.”

“The exhibit that packed the most emotional punch was on the lawn outside: a full-scale sculpture of several women with chains around their necks looking up from a pit in the ground.”

I had to stop reading to absorb unimaginable numbers and pain.

I always find this an odd weekend to navigate.  It began as a way to commemorate the sacrifices of Civil War soldiers.  

On May 30, 1868, at Arlington National Cemetery James A. Garfield said: 

“We do not know one promise these men made, one pledge they gave, one word they spoke; but we do know they summed up and perfected, by one supreme act, the highest virtues of men and citizens. For love of country they accepted death, and thus resolved all doubts, and made immortal their patriotism and their virtue.”

After he spoke, 5,000 participants helped to decorate the graves of the more than 20,000 Union and Confederate soldiers who are buried there. After World War I, Memorial Day was established as a national holiday to honor all those who’ve died in American wars. It’s a weekend to remember as we move forward to change.

Look for the Gull skimming the waves

Still Honoring Mother’s Day

We have a day to honor mothers and one for fathers and yet I sit here today feeling enveloped by my mother who passed away in February 2005.  She is here with me, in me, with her sweet smile and desire always for peace.  

I used to think she should be stronger in judgment, or what I preferred to call discernment, but now I understand.  There is a place of letting go, of gentle strength, the Mr. Rogers type of strength.

I revel in her knowing these words of Nipun Mehta.  

Surrender isn’t a sacrifice of the known but rather a celebration of the infinite.

There are many cars on the train we are on, and we can’t see and seam them all at one time but my mother is here.

Multitudes in One