Every night after and every day since,“Through My Prayers” by The Avett Brothers
I find myself crying when the memory hits.
Sometimes it knocks me down, sometimes I can just put it away.
Down in my mind where I don’t care to go,
The pain of a lesson is letting me know
If you have love in your heart let it show while you can.
Yes now I understand,
But now my only chance
To talk to you is through my prayers;
I only wanted to tell ya I care.
“Wait, what? I thought Lent was over.” Well, it is, but I’m memorializing the blog, and our daily meditation, here. I need to honor it today, so that I might start to live it again.
I miss the discipline of a daily commitment, which is what doing something for 40 days instills in me. Routine, habit, and benefits galore. For me, it was kind of like running a race (and then collapsing at the end!). I’m back up, for today anyway. In memoriam…
Memorial Day to me is not all red, white, and blue, parades, poolside parties. (Does it ever really feel like summer anyway?!) Nor is it a day to eulogize perfection or put each other on a to-be-scrutinized pedestal. Instead, I believe it is a day to honor the journeys of those that came before us, which, for better or for worse, have impacted the journeys we are on now. Most of those lives involved sacrifice, so I figure it’s the least we can do.
Today, I remember, and recognize people, places, lessons, and lives fully lived. This Memorial Day, I find myself as the eldest female in my children’s lives for the first time. That’s weird…
Yesterday, I unpacked a suitcase of my mother’s stuff. When I packed it, I’d thrown in I one of her five pairs of white leather gloves, the ones that go up to the elbow. It’s hard not to laugh imagining how I might explain them to my children, what those eras above them looked like. The only constant is change. Cliché, but true.
For me, this day also represents the psychological transition from spring to summer. With that comes newness and a falling away of the old. Seasonally, the barrenness of winter has given way to new growth and new hope. That is reinforced in the yogic world, where the energy at play is vata, representing airiness and the winds of change. This can be a bit scary; it’s easy to get attached to the past. The moment we take a breath, it is time to exhale it and begin to take in a new one. New breaths, new problems, new exciting developments. It is constant. Easy come, easy go. Or not so easy.
Sometimes, it seems the deeper breath we take, the more we need to let go of. The more we practice being mindful, the more the universe doles up reasons we need to be. (If this seems to be the case in your life, rest assured, you are not alone!)
Today, I am trying to find some balance between pausing to look back and bringing lessons from the past into the present moment. It is all happening at once, remembering and honoring the past, appreciating it in real time. It’s a reminder that I need some routines and rituals to keep myself grounded.
Hopefully, you have a few of these tools as well. Hopefully, a few of the seeds you planted during Lent have manifested into a practice you’ve committed to, or one you might consider taking up again. Today is a good day to honor your 40-day commitment and the good that has perhaps grown out of it.
For me, that came in the form of awesome community. This has continued to stabilize me as the winds of change blow, with graduations and confirmations and life marching on.
People in this community sent me feedback, thoughts, and some tools they used and liked. Some suggested I share those here. I’ve included a few below, but I can’t find them all. (Back to the 33,000 emails…) My apologies, and gratitude for all the sharing! (If you are feeling extra-inspired, please share anything that might be of benefit or interest to others in the comments below.)
The key remains: Practice, practice, practice. Remembering today that “you don’t quench your thirst by talking about water.”
Walk your dogs, write in your journal, go for a long drive, stare at the water, give thanks, do yoga, listen to recorded meditations. Be still. There are many ways to have peace. And on this Memorial Day, I suggest sharing with someone what or whom you are remembering today. The spirit of everyone, and everything, is kept alive in your doing so.
Cheers, thanks, peace.
.~ ~ ~
Some tools I use and you can subscribe to:
A wonderful daily recorded meditation that I get every morning, Breathwork & Biblically based. Super soothing voice and music.
A daily message from Fred Buechner, my favorite inspirational writer.
Renewal Works/Jay Sidebotham’s Monday Message.
Also recommended are options for daily emails from Elephant Journal, Richard Rohr, and the Center for Action and Contemplation.
Other 40 day programs are:
Jack Kornfield & Tara Brach (Check out this free 40 day program, recommended to me last month.)
One I’ve done a few times runs in January, but recorded meditations are still available. This was, in many ways, the inspiration for this blog. (and in many ways was the inspiration for this).
Also recommended are regular recordings and programs by Sharon Salzman, Deepak Chopra, and Marianne Williamson. Each have websites and regular offerings.
Last, apropos to memorializing this first Memorial Day, month of mothers, and my mother’s birthday, is a poem that came my way when I needed it. This was part of my mother’s eulogy and was featured yesterday in Elephant Journal.