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May 27, 2002
A Memorial Day TriadThree Things to Remember:
There is No Holiday of War
Properly construed, there are no Holidays, certainly no holy days, associated with war and its victims. Such memorials are commemorations rather than observations. I am an observer, and will honor what I can see: the presence of the Goddess, manifest upon the face of the Land. Ignorant of our endless battles, Her seasons reiterate a lesson taught across time. In Her, experience and memory are one. But we are forgetful, and if we really remembered our war dead we would honor them by living in peace.
There is No Holiday of Peace
Well worthy of a holiday, but we regard peace as our native state, and war an aberration. Peace is the presupposition of all the Holidays; the soil our way of life is nurtured in. Peace is transparent as water, and as vital; the medium in which we launch our celebrations. A season only appreciated upon leaving.
Today’s Holiday is the Gateway of Summer
So another Spring passes from actuality to memory. It’s been a strange one. Inside out, you could say: hot and dry in April; cold and wet in May. Reservoir levels are creeping up, and it certainly doesn’t feel like we’re in a drought, but there are still water supply concerns to trouble the prospects of Summer.
A fitful Spring, dimmed by the shadow of war. Sporadic and erratic. Frost at the beginning of the season retarded the momentum of the warm Winter; then the heat wave fooled many plants into panic-blooming; coming and going in a hurry, but it was only an advertisement for a Summer yet held in abeyance. Since then we’ve been below average in temperature, and above in precipitation. “We need the rain” is the oft repeated truism, but the weather patterns have not favored my schedule, and I haven’t coincided with the best waves of migrating birds, slipping through when they can. Still, there have been some nice ones, including the Little Blue Heron, a very rare sight in the Park, and the Kentucky Warbler; my thirty-fourth warbler species, leaving only the Golden-winged yet to be found, among those typically expected in our area. And there was the pleasure of sharing a few of these things with friends; the pleasure of sharing Life.
So I’m not complaining, though the Spring is waning, and early morning rambles must give way to the multitudes and their barbecues. The Holiday requires no less. I will remember this Spring, and hope to celebrate another. I will honor the dead, but not their deaths. I will seek to live in peace.
I will step into a further season.
I will remember
and in between,