“May the many monuments that abound remind me of the desperate need for courage, the inestimable value of valor, the honor evoked of sacrifice, and the fact that a life spent in the service of self embodies none of these.”― Craig D. Lounsbrough
“A true patriot does not seek to live off of the sacrifices of others. Rather, a true patriot is the one who sacrifices so that others might live. And therefore, we might be quite wise to take a moment and ponder the reality that a nation heavy on recipients and light on patriots will soon have neither.”― Craig D. Lounsbrough
Remembering those who have sacrificed for our freedoms.
Who went beyond self into other.
Choosing we rather than me.
More than a long weekend and kick off to summer.
A day to remember, honor and be grateful.
And hopefully extended well beyond one day.
Humans forget, get distracted, take others for granted.
Thank you to all who served and serve.
Those no longer with us and those who remain willing to make the sacrifice.
“Thank you to those men and women who put self aside because they held the thought of us on the inside. So, whether that be the bloodied beaches on D-Day or any number of other battles remembered or forgotten, we now hold you on the inside and we say “thank you.”― Craig D. Lounsbrough
“Each person’s grief is as unique as their fingerprint. But what everyone has in common is that no matter how they grieve, they share a need for their grief to be witnessed. That doesn’t mean needing someone to try to lessen it or reframe it for them. The need is for someone to be fully present to the magnitude of their loss without trying to point out the silver lining.” Robert Neimeyer
“It’s that intention of fixing, of curing, of going back to “normal” that messes with everything. It stops conversation, it stops growth, it stops connection, it stops intimacy. Honestly, if we just changed our orientation to grief as a problem to be solved and instead see it as a mystery to be honored, a lot of our language of support could stay the same.”— Megan Devine, It’s OK That You’re Not OK: Meeting Grief and Loss in a Culture That Doesn’t Understand
Seven years ago today, my Dad passed away from a fall.
I was on a plane from a work trip and didn’t make it back in time.
Life stopped on a dime and then moved rapidly to reality.
We jumped in to take care of Mom.
And Mom took care of us too.
We took care of each other.
Two years ago, Mom was accidentally diagnosed with Stage 4 lung cancer.
With each passing month, we kept thinking, this might be it.
When would it catch up with her?
Anticipatory grief before the grief of actual death.
She passed on March 7 this year.
Sudden or prolonged, it’s different and it’s loss.
Grief is grief and it’s different for each person and for each person that they grieve for and about.
Whether fresh, 7 years, or 20 years or more, loss, the hole remains along side the love, gratitude, grace and memories.
We dip our toes and then re-enter the flow of life again.
Different and carrying it forward.
Threads of joy, laughter and beauty weave through each day if we allow.
Whether you are in the midst of fresh and/or lingering grief, you are held, loved and seen.
Nothing to solve or fix.
No silver lining.
Walking along side is enough.
A mystery to be honored.
Both life and death.
Live and love well.
“The reality of grief is far different from what others see from the outside. There is pain in this world that you can’t be cheered out of. You don’t need solutions. You don’t need to move on from your grief. You need someone to see your grief, to acknowledge it. Some things cannot be fixed. They can only be carried.”― Megan Devine, It’s OK That You’re Not OK: Meeting Grief and Loss in a Culture That Doesn’t Understand
“Darkness deserves gratitude. It is the alleluia point at which we learn to understand that all growth does not take place in the sunlight.”― Joan Chittister
“Hope is an anchor dropped into the future. We feel you pulling us toward it once again.” – Kate Bowler, Jessica Richie, The Lives We Actually Have
I saw the sun yesterday.
I noticed it, pausing a moment.
An upward anchor, a kite, a grounding.
The little things are enough, overflowing actually.
At our feet, surrounding us, holding us.
In words, but mostly in silence, in sheer presence.
In waiting, watching, witnessing.
Winter rain through the night.
Hastening the melting of deep snow, softening of earth, precursor to green.
Notice. Awe. Wonder.
Grace enters and sits right beside you on one side, hope on the other.
Holy. Sacred. Steady.
“Love is holy because it is like grace–the worthiness of its object is never really what matters.”― Marilynne Robinson, Gilead
“If a branch is too rigid, it will break. Resist, and you will perish. Know how to yield, and you will survive.”― Liezi, Lieh-tzu: A Taoist Guide to Practical Living
“Awareness is not a state you force. There is little effort involved, though persistence is key. It’s something you actively allow to happen. It is a presence with, and acceptance of, what is happening in the eternal now.”― Rick Rubin, The Creative Act: A Way of Being
Day begins with heavy snow.
Shoveling wet cement.
Cloudy skies as winter lingers.
Days end, the clouds part for a moment.
Sun beams through.
Blue sky shows off like she always does.
In the autopilot, the daily “to dos,” transactions and tasks, pause, yield, stop, look up.
Blue sky breaking.
Take it in.
Sponge in water.
Beauty woven in the ordinary.
Wonder in the unknowing.
“The magic is not in the analyzing or the understanding. The magic lives in the wonder of what we do not know.”― Rick Rubin, The Creative Act: A Way of Being
Prayer of St. Francis Lord, make me an instrument of your peace: where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; where there is sadness, joy. O divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console, to be understood as to understand, to be loved as to love. For it is in giving that we receive, it is in pardoning that we are pardoned, and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. Amen.
“Peace cannot be kept by force; it can only be achieved by understanding.” – Albert Einstein
Today marks two years – 730 days – of posting daily on Cast Light. In the beginning of 2021, after the reckoning and rocking of 2020, I decided to publish daily as a new habit, ritual and practice to anchor in the present and in gratitude. Each morning, new words on a blank canvas. I am sure there were plenty of misses but the practice of reflecting each morning and setting direction and intentions for the day made a difference to the quality of my life and I hope that it spilled over into others as well.
We are on this journey together. Light, beauty, optimism, gratitude, faith, empathy, humility, grace, hope, kindness, joy, laughter, love feed the soul, heart and mind. May you seek and find these daily to both witness and participate in your life to the fullest. Thank you for letting me share, for following along and for your generosity of attention.
Do new things daily to foster understanding, allow unknowing and create connection. Daily actions add up and compound. May 2023 bring peace, joy and light to all to make this world better by loving each other without condition.
“We can never obtain peace in the outer world until we make peace with ourselves.” – Dalai Lama
“Let the beauty we love be what we do. There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground.”― Rumi
“Finally, beloved…whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” – Philippians 4:8
Your thinking drives the car, sets the course, the destination for the day
Where actual control resides
Not by chance
Not by accident
Not other or outside
With intention and rigor, choose your thoughts
When they stray, get them back in line
Both hands on the wheel
Beauty, gratitude, attitude
Whatever is worthy of praise
“As we enter the path of transformation, the most valuable thing we have working in our favor is our yearning.”― Cynthia Bourgeault
“Gratitude is, however, more than just an emotion. It is also a disposition that can be chosen and cultivated, an outlook toward life that manifests itself in actions—it is an ethic.” ― Diana Butler Bass, Grateful: The Transformative Power of Giving Thanks
“On each threshold,
wisdom; at every doorway,
love; through every entry,
grace; with each beginning, peace.”
— Jan Richardson, In the Sanctuary of Women: A Companion for Reflection & Prayer
Thresholds, doorways, entries, beginnings, endings
The edge, the tipping point, the before to after
Transitions that lead to transformations
A blessing of courage to cross over, again and again
Overflowing grace that can never be explained or understood, merely accepted
Hope that runs deep, a current that pulls and pushes you forward
Joy that transcends conditions and circumstances
And gratitude to see it all with clarity, awe and praise.
“Offering a blessing is an act of profound hope. In blessing one another, we recognize and ally ourselves with the presence of God who ever works to bring about the healing of the world.” — Jan Richardson, In the Sanctuary of Women: A Companion for Reflection & Prayer
“Living in a state of gratitude is the gateway to grace.” Arianna Huffington
“One can never consent to creep when one feels an impulse to soar.”― Helen Keller, The Story of My Life
In a sunrise, a sunset.
A walk, a run.
A poem, a song.
A flower, a flake of snow.
Quiet, a breeze.
A conversation, a glance.
A photo, a dance.
Poke gratitude, awaken to what already is awaiting encounter, praise, and awe.
An impulse to soar, falling into flight.
“The only real battle in life is between hanging on and letting go.”― Shannon L. Alder
“The thankful receiver bears a plentiful harvest.” – William Blake
“It is only the farmer who faithfully plants seeds in the Spring, who reaps a harvest in the Autumn.” – B. C. Forbes
May you be open to receive, accept and be held in love.
Ebb and flow.
In and out.
A dance, a rhythm, a flow.
Receive and give thanks.
Plant seeds. Nurture. Harvest.
Happy Thanks-receiving and Thanksgiving.
“Until we can receive with an open heart, we are never really giving with an open heart.”― Brene Brown, The Gifts of Imperfection