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To remember is to work for peace

Published on November 6, 2021

The first time I ever saw a live poppy was around this time of year in Belgium, in Flanders fields. Looking out the window, we’re reminded of the changing seasons and post-harvest.

There’s a fairly depressing poem that was recorded in song in the mid-1940’s: Les Feuilles Mortes, (literally translated, “Dead Leaves”). The English version, Autumn Leaves, kept the melody, but pretty well changed the nature of the song about lost love.

Some things are lost in many of life’s translations/transitions. Marriage is the death of singleness. Parenthood often brings with it the death of silence. Divorce is the death of marriage. Middle age is the death of youth (except for those young at heart ☺)

Living with one who is closer to life’s finish line than the starting line, constantly reminds me of not only her mortality, but mine. It causes me to reflect about my life: roads not taken, relationships not pursued, opportunities lost. It also reminds me of the passage of time and how I plan to live the last third of my life.

Hanging on/letting go. This has been a major theme for me – with relationships, traditions, expectations, goals, dreams …

When we hang onto the past (especially when we do it with both hands), we have no room for the present, let alone the future. We sink into a world of depression, surrounded by what-if’s and if-only’s that are exasperating, not only to ourselves, but to those around us. We lock ourselves in a cobwebbed room with the drapes closed, grieving what used to be, and gasping for fresh air.

Believe it or not, we can let go, no matter how frightening that may be. We can sweep those dust bunnies out the door, throw open the curtains, and embrace the fresh, clean air that only an open window can provide.

Until next time,