a travel reflection for today...D. & i were frequent visitors to gettysburg, PA when we lived nearby. i wrote this a few years ago on the anniversary (november 19) of lincoln's gettysburg address while we were staying in gettysburg...a reflection on why so many return to places of great battles, tracing steps & remembering...
the solitary leaf, the very last from the tree, fell without a sound in late november's heavy twilight. surrounded by shades of grey & brown, in the somber quiet, i wondered why we had come. is it to mourn those who passed more than a century ago, those we never knew? is it to pray for the healing of a national wound that still pains us?
when we are at peace as a people, death comes in many places, mostly solitary, sporadic. but when we are at war, when there is a great battle, death comes with much fierceness. the solitary, sporadic deaths of our ordinary lives create rippled voids as life's energy leaves our dimension. the mass deaths in war, so many at one time, in one place leave a great vacuum in there ~ a huge void that we, in later times, struggle to smooth & soothe.
it takes many of us, over time, to restore the gentle balance & heal ~ we come to stand in that place, imagining...bringing our energy to the vacuum...asking, "why?"...praying, "never again."
30 days of thanks...remembering those who have died for freedom's sake...with much gratitude.