It’s Memorial Day weekend in America. A time when we remember the sacrifice of those who gave their life in service to our country, specifically those who wore a uniform in military service. It is right and good that we do. That we set aside a day to remember, in gratefulness and awe, their sacrifice to protect the liberty and freedom, the right to pursue life and happiness, that we hold dear.
But I wonder, what is liberty and freedom in the days of Covid 19? What are our rights in this life of new normal? It’s not so much about rights, my rights, but rather what is right and good. I have been inspired these many weeks of sheltering in by a new army of selfless servants. The healthcare workers, the restauranteurs who cooked takeout, the grocery store workers, the mail carriers, delivery drivers, trash collectors, power company employees, the supply chain employees that kept essentials flowing and us, rolling in things like toilet paper…who knew that would be a thing? I wonder if the powers that be will designate a day in memory of these tireless heroes. Some gave their all…it is right that we do.
In the meantime, even as I remember our military heroes, I pause to honor these new heroes. I do it in small ways everyday…by thanking them, by being kind, and by wearing a mask when I am out to let them and others know that I care about keeping them safe. It’s the least I can do because freedom and liberty are not about my rights to pursue my own happiness to the exclusion of others. Freedom and liberty is not about my right to get a haircut, to have my nails done, to pack into corner pubs to have a drink, or to get in the face of others mask-less, spewing hatred and disdain, indignant that anyone would dare try to fence us in, to tell us what we can and cannot do. This is not freedom. Freedom and liberty only work when everyone is safe and well. Freedom is exemplified by those who gave their all, whether on distant shores in combat or on a very different battlefield in selfless care and concern for others. We’re not there yet. Sometimes I wonder if we will ever get there. But I know each of us can do our part. It’s what I choose to do. It’s the least I can do. I embrace my power to be kind, considerate, grateful, and in awe of the selfless heroes around me. What freedom! What liberty! What happiness!
Be safe and well my friends. Have a wonderful week!
Sunday’s Week in ReVerse – 24 May 2020
morning will be here before we know
air, cool misty, damp
into the empty
bare limbs brushing the clay
finding joy in quiet moments,
in the eye of the storm
A ReVerse poem (a practice I started many years ago) is a summary poem with a single line lifted from each entry of a collection of work over a particular timeframe and re-penned in chronological order as a new poem. Unlike a collaborative poem, the ReVerse features the words of one writer, providing a glimpse into their thoughts over time. I use it as a review of the previous week.