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Looking out of the window of my office I am amazed by the beauty of the day. Hammering away (well, at least lightly touching) the keyboard before me, I find myself distracted from my manuscript — my eyes having been lured towards the beauty of a clear sky brushed by leaves swaying in gentle breezes as the Memorial Day weekend draws to a close.

Happily, I did finish revisions on yet another chapter today! While the next one looms large before me, I find myself satisfied, feeling a small measure of accomplished for the moment.  The view from my office is peaceful, and the breeze has been kind enough to pick up the perfume from my garden and deliver it through the open window filling the room.  The weeping willow’s leaves acknowledge my presence . . . .

Weeping Willow

Backyard – willow

It’s been a long week.  My partner, Charles had back surgery. Blessedly, all went well, and his strength and fortitude have been extraordinary — as has been the tremendous outpouring of support and affection of many loving friends, colleagues and family members.  Charles is my rock, and being rather on the small size, I can only do my best as his pebble.  For the skill of his surgeon and the grace of God I am beyond grateful — I bow my head before the trees swaying in the breezes outside my window as I whisper prayers of thanksgiving.

It is also Memorial Day, and the magic of social networking has made possible High School classmates joining online for a “virtual reunion.” How appropriate that it is this weekend we have come together to remember the pain and strain of passing through the portal of adolescence into maturity.  SUCH memories have come to the fore.  The joys of first loves, the pressures of studies, obstacles encountered, and parental expectations, sporting events and parties, friendships forged (lasting to this day). Moments when we individually and collectively discovered where and how we fit into the world revisited and magnified by the mirrors of one anothers’ reflections.

Vietnam War Memorial

– Vietnam War Memorial, Washington DC

In addition, it’s been a day when old acquaintances joined together for a collective sigh. Our numbers have been diminished, the price exacted by the years.  Some were lost to illness or accidents, which must be expected. Yet, several classmates died as fallen warriors — casualties of war, which NO generation should have to expect.  Their lives may have ended in the distant jungles of Vietnam, but their memories have been forever etched into time. We remember them.

And so, today I pause from my usual commentary to listen to the quiet, treasuring the moments between life’s ups, and life’s down.  The light outside my window is tinged by the waning remnants of a sun-kissed day. Next week we will once again revisit Max’s world.  Thank you for joining me in this most amazing journey.  Until then, may your lives be gentle and your memories rich and joyous.