I’m sitting out on my back patio with my laptop, a good book, and a cup of steaming coffee. Okay, I don’t have the coffee but it just seemed like the right thing to add to the picture. I actually have an Evian water bottle filled with tap water. A metaphor for many things in life. But I am on the patio with the other said items and it is indeed a perfect morning. There is a gentle breeze and a light rain falling turning everything into lush green wonders. The breeze comes and goes wrapping in to hug me and then pulling away to do its thing.
It is a beautiful morning because I’m ceasing this morning. When it is an odd feeling to cease, you know that you need to make changes in life. When you have an evening uncommitted or a morning without a deadline and it feels incredibly odd, then perhaps one is too busy.
Today is Independence Day. A day when people celebrate freedom . . . from their places of work.
This very moment three jets from a nearby military base flew over the house on their way to the Independence festivities downtown. Before I ever saw them, I heard the incredible noise from their engines. As they neared the house, the sound was so deafening that I braced for the impact of a plane landing in my back yard before my very eyes. Nothing happened. Nothing fell from the sky. And then I saw them flying overhead at unimaginable speeds on their way to awe the little children downtown with red smiles from their cherry snow cones.
My eyes welled up with tears from the realization that that sound, that deafening roar is a sound many people hear on a daily basis around the world. They sit in their houses and they hear an ever increasing sound coming their direction. But they don’t sit there with their Evian water because their mind outweighs their fears reminding them that the likelihood of some plane or bomb landing on their house is as likely as the Terminator becoming Governor of California. Yes, it can happen but you are completely flabbergasted and awe-struck that it ever did.
People in countries of ceaseless war don’t just sit there when those same sounds near their home and it did mine. They take action. They gather their children and family, their most prized possessions, and run for safe cover to escape the certain destruction from above. I have no idea. No idea at all. No realm for understanding or comprehension. The small amount of fear I just felt a minute ago gave me a pathetic taste of the reality of life for many.
Independence Day. A day of patriotism. Fredreck Buechner says, “True patriots are no longer champions of Democracy, Communism, or anything like that but champions of the Human Race. It is not the Homeland that they feel called on to defend at any cost but the planet Earth as Home.” Perhaps today as I celebrate freedom with friends, fireworks and funnel-cakes I will remember the sound of the jets and will act for freedom for all in my Homeland.