Calm Within the Maelstrom

To be born into a maelstrom
and to somehow find peace within it.

To possess great power by not seeking it.

To unite disparate elements by striving not to divide.

To not mock or ridicule those you disagree with
because you know giving grace is much more powerful
than seeking to disgrace.

To not be taken in by those who would crown you king
knowing that however gifted,
no man is God.

These are qualities to be admired.
These are traits we would pray our children emulate.

© Joel Tipple
359

Memorial Day

birdfeeder 029

This coming Monday in the United States we celebrate Memorial Day. Originally known as Decoration Day, it was started as a way to remember all those combatants who died in battle during the Civil War. Since then it has come to include all those who have died in U.S. military service.

That photograph you’re looking at,
the young man with the grin.
There’s a sparkle in his eye that hints at
the joy and light within.
He didn’t live to become an old man,
but I remember him.

Then there’s the portrait of the nurse following
graduation with her class. She served in the
Pacific during WW II. You could tell her she helped
so many, but to her it would always be too few.
I remember her.

For those who died in the heat,
for the ones who passed in the cold,
holding tightly letters in weary hands
that spoke of work, family, home.

Some brought courage with them.
Some found courage there.
Some found courage with hands firmly clasped
and lips uttering prayer.

Whether young or old,
timid or bold,
we honor them all
as their stories are told
and we gather near the flame
lit in their memory.
We tell their stories,
and we remember.