Monday, November 11

the 11th day of the 11th month

11th day of the 11th month giving thanks and standing in deepest gratitude for those who have their lives that I might know this sunny day.

Super powerful magic is afoot.*

It's also a day for reflection.

I think it is sad that an entire day is given to us to take a moment of reflection** and so often we rush along without taking even eleven minutes to think about people who for days, weeks, months and years withstood the most awful and wrenching of circumstances in order that we have the liberty to enjoy this day, this life.

I am not here to debate the merits of war (as if!) -- my point is to honor those spirits who went into trenches, into battle, into hell -- with the intention of serving the collective good.

There is no way I can bring all of it to mind -- not that I would attempt to -- there are too many wars that this country has engaged in for me to reflect upon all the suffering I wish to bring blessings to.  Instead, I will sit with an image that I received early in my life as a kid growing up outside Philadelphia.

We lived very near Valley Forge and Brandywine.  In the summer we would picnic there.  In the winter we would sled down the hills.

So, the winter of December 1777 into January 1778 was imprinted onto my consciousness at a very early age.  The blood on the snow from bare feet.  The lack of blankets.  Hundreds died in slow agony of disease without the least bit of comfort.

And yet, they prevailed.  Some how.  Their spirits prevailed.  And this is what I am bringing to mind this morning-- for eleven minutes, at least.

bisous, e

* more on that tomorrow

**I mean, people -- do you have any idea how long it takes people who have the power to create national holidays to agree on which days deserve a "pause" for reflection?

11 comments:

  1. Manassas, Ticonderoga, Concord and Lexington were the places I knew. And then of course the experience that still reverberates to this day...a springtime in Virginia when a dad took his 8 y.o. girl on a walk to tell her he'd be leaving in July to fight a war in a faraway place called Vietnam. "Why don't the people who make the wars fight them?" she asked. "Why do you have to go?" His reply of "it's my job" was less than satisfactory but...he would go on to the siege of Khe Sahn the following winter and lose half his platoon in random events while she and her fourth grade class prayed Hail Mary's for him every day. '67 to '68 was one of the bloodiest years in Vietnam, friend's dads were killed, if not the first time over, then surely the second time. She was a lucky one. Her dad came back. Of course, when she says to him now on Veteran's Day "I was one of the lucky ones," he answers, "no, I was."

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    1. I have no words. Am so honored by what you have shared.

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  2. You're a blog tease! I wanna know about the magic now! :D

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  3. I spent the lunch hour (or two) at the Veteran's Medical Center with my children today. They sang in the lunchroom for the patients. When they sang all of the patriotic songs I continually had a lump in my throat. The purpose and meaning was tangible, thick. I had the day off in observance of Veteran's day, and if I am being honest, I was irritated that this concert was in the middle of my "day off" when I could get caught up with work. I am ashamed of myself now. What I witnessed was pure beauty. It was a little divine intervention that tapped me on the shoulder today, and whispered: be grateful and give back. I am so lucky to have that shoulder tap. We really do all belong to each other.

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    1. oh yes, honey--- we really do all belong to each other! what beautiful words you have written!! xoxoxo

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  4. My running club hosted a trail run yesterday to benefit Boulder Crest, a retreat center in Bluemont, Virginia, that provides respite for wounded warriors and their families. After hearing the director of the center and one of the center's guests speak, the $25,000.00 we raised seems so insufficient. I need to contact the director of the center to see how if there's anything I can do to help. Teach knitting, make cornbread? Just be there?

    Thank you for such a thoughtful post.

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    1. ohhh Teri! YOUR BIG HEART!!! I think they would LOVE that!!! what a great idea! xoxox, e

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  5. I had no idea that you grew up in Southeastern PA!! I feel very privileged to be able to drive through Valley Forge Park every day on my way to work. I always think of the hardships endured there, especially when there is snow on the ground. All of our Veterans are truly heroes.

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    1. yes!! I did ---- so cool you are still there-- what a BEAUTIFUL area. and yes, they are heroes for sure! xoxox, e

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thank you so much for sharing your thoughts with me-- I love that you stopped by and hope something I shared was what you needed today. xo, e