Monday, May 31, 2010

summer rain

One of my favorite smells in the world happens as a summer rain hits hot pavement. It is part moisture, part cloud, part dirt, part heat, and all awesome. I think I was seven years old the first time I cognitively remember noticing and appreciating that smell. We lived in El Paso, Texas and were playing outside as the sun was sinking. In a rare happening for the desert, it started to sprinkle. I remember my dad standing on the driveway, taking a deep, exaggerated breath, and proclaiming his love of that smell. Growing up in the Northeast, he was accustomed to more moisture and probably appreciated any extra water whenever it happened while we lived in the desert. Ever since then, I took extra delight in summer rains.

Today has been full of summer rain in Middle Tennessee. The morning started with scattered showers. Later, a two-minute downpour was followed by the bright sun to absorb the puddles. Even later, a ten minute sprinkle fell so light, the downward motion deceived my eyes. I knew it was raining because the sidewalks told me so, but I could hardly see the drops. Regardless of what my eyes told me, I could smell summer hanging in the air.

And pure elation followed.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Uncommon Valor (remains) a Common Virtue

I have been meaning to post, I promise. I feel the longer between posts the more I have to say to catch up, to explain, to sort out. So I will pretend to start afresh. Forget what I have written and I will just start each day new. That way, you don't think I am crazy when things seem to change or turn around so fast.

I am not going to write much today. I attended a Memorial Day service at Stones River National Cemetery, hosted by the VFW. Each of the over 7,000 headstones in the cemetery have an American flag placed in front of it. I love to see autumn leaves encompassing the stones and light snowfalls dusting the cemetery can be breathtaking. But seeing the thousands of flags is amazing. Pausing to understand what each represent can be overwhelming.

It is interesting to see the flags that have been placed for Memorial Day in a cemetery that was established for Civil War soldiers. Memorial Day originated as Decoration Day and that day of remembrance was established out of the mass numbers of soldiers buried after the Civil War. Those men did not return home 150 years ago in the same way many men and women service members do not return today.

A friend of mine (a 70-year old retired Marine- I love Mr. Bob) emailed this to me and I think it is fitting for the weekend.

I like this one, too.