Discover more from Songs of Forgiveness
May 30/New Moon
upon returning home
When you return west you are chasing the sun so the day goes on and on. I went to bed last night after a flight from the United Kingdom via Reykjavík at 9 pm central time zone, but my body time said it was 3 am. With my return brings a New Moon, one moon cycle is ending and another beginning today. This is the time of the dark nights and a time to plant the seeds of your intentions.
With my return is also Memorial Day. It is a day meant to mourn military personnel who died in service of our nation.
It is also a day that each year Mom and Bill would go down and join my grandma at Kern’s Cemetery near the farm and participate in the Memorial Day Ceremony followed by the yearly meeting for cemetery aid. The cemetery is completely run by volunteers and my grandma served it for 60 some years. My grandma could not be considered Military Personnel and she did not die serving her country in a traditional sense but I do want a memorial for her life of servitude. Years of caring for others who lived, and years of living well and within her means. That is what I am focusing on for this Memorial Day post.
I may not have all the details and words right and maybe not even the sentiment as I sit here and think about people dying in service to this country. There is this idea that honoring those who died during military service is somehow more patriotic than appreciating the masses who live everyday with wholesome integrity. I love the America of reality. The one that is messy and folksy and ingenious, beautiful people balancing bank accounts, tilling gardens, hanging out laundry, learning, singing, loving, making messes and cleaning them up too. Those kids in Uvalde seem to me to be operating in service to their country just attending school as expected, calling 911 when help was needed, those teachers too, doing the hardest job in the world, just regular people, doing regular things until its no longer regular, until your life is the front line. Those shoppers in buffalo were in service to their country there shopping, one foot in front of the other, picking up food to bring home and cook for dinner. Nothing fancy, just life. Just beautiful humanity, practical, daily living of life until the extremities come in and mess it up. Also Ukraine, living and dreaming and then along comes Putin, wanting their wealth, wanting more.
I’m done with polarizations. I have this idea that my grandma and grandpa hung the hunting riffle in plain sight on the wall just above the door of the house, but I’m not sure if it is based on reality or my imagination. To me that seems like the epitome of gun safety. To keep things there right in plain sight. No one is going to sneak it away and play with it. I don’t really know what kind of gun it is, nor how it works, but if it was hanging there for all to see, I could ask about it and understand it better. It is out of reach of hands but not of talking and considering and discussing. The image of the gun hung above the door somehow implies there must be a different way to approach these polarities of control. Can the elephant be in the room with us for awhile and can we live with it and agree it is a beautiful animal that knows way more than our attitudes give it credit for. And while we are at it, can we discuss how dangerous it is to assume you are right, especially when it pertains to taking someone or something else’s life, to take their personhood, their purpose and meaning for granted? And for that matter, can we stop to consider a certain deference to the fact that we are here on this beautiful planet. And let’s do it at every opportune moment, when eating and shopping and traveling across town or across the world, stop to consider all that came together to make this possible. It’s humbling and necessary, because it is the greatest weapon we have.
I dedicate this revolution of the moon around the earth to the Honorable Harvest, which amounts to mindfulness of the effects of what you take, never taking more than you need and never doing it to the detriment of the personhood of the other. (I must mark here that as I wrote the previous sentence, out of the quiet, lightning suddenly lit up the living room and struck my eyes. It was followed by a boom of thunder against my ears about 2 seconds later. Both I felt viscerally.)
Obviously the Honorable Harvest is a practice. Not something that you can get exactly right once and never make a mistake again. Or decide and do in one moment. It is a personal relationship to a set of guidelines that allow you to leave things as good or better than you found them. At least try to. I first gained words for this from Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer, which I have mentioned many times here, but before reading it, I felt it in my bones. So when I read it, I recognized it. It has been an unwritten way of living that I feel like was part of my upbringing but as I am part of our common society, it gets lost for me again and again. The honorable harvest speaks to me of my grandma and her service to the cemetery aid, to those around her when they were sick or dying or had just lost someone they loved. The way she cared for the land and her house and most importantly her beautiful self. The honorable harvest is living with forgiveness and promising to try my best despite the difficulties of living and loving life.
The honorable harvest speaks to never harboring hate in your heart, to anyone or anything. To having practices that can bring you back to your center of loving kindness. To real true gratitude for all that brought you to this moment in time.
I think I will leave this here as is. If I owe you an email, it is coming soon. I promise. Also I promise more on Wednesday this week, in some shape or form. In the meantime, much love. Tina
MPR article about the Tops Friendly Supermarket that was targeted in Buffalo. https://www.npr.org/2022/05/21/1099826247/tops-market-history-buffalo-shooting