Saturday, June 27, 2009

War Made Personal

I never think much about war. I try to focus on peace. I often think about the men and women that fight the wars and even pray for their safety, but I don't watch much T.V. coverage or read many magazine or newspaper articles on the wars. I figured my being pulled into fear or anger would not create peace, so my war-related thoughts were limited.

Last week, however, war became personal. I learned my son, Alan, will be leaving for Afghanistan in three weeks. He recently graduated from basic training and was told he would be spending the next six months in training in a nice safe place, Fort Drum, NY. Shortly after showing up for duty he learned the Army changed his orders and he began the process to prepare for deployment in July.

In first hearing the news, I noticed a sudden quick squirt of fear enter my mind. I wanted to protest and tell the Army that it's not fair to change plans like that without notice. I wanted Alan to have more time to prepare and learn everything he could about his specialty as a combat engineer (defusing bombs and land mines).

The next day while on a beautiful drive in my car, I felt a wave of peaceful acceptance wash over me. I began to focus on trusting all will be well and that Alan will be able to handle himself in whatever situation comes his way. I began to focus on the exciting adventures he will have and the relationships he will make with the others that will be in his unit. I focused on the learning he will receive in his training and how he will grow as a person. I focused on how Alan will rise to every occasion no matter how challenging, and how he has always desired to keep others safe.

Although war suddenly became personal, I do not plan on increasing my exposure to news reports. I will continue to pray for safe return for all of the service men and women. What's different now is my son will be part of that prayer.

Monday, June 22, 2009

The Clouds of Time

At 5:00 this morning, I was lying on my living room floor taking a breather in between crunches and leg lifts. As I looked out the window I noticed there were a lot of clouds moving across the sky in the early light. It was a surreal appearing sight since the speed of the clouds appeared to be in fast motion....You know how it's done with a fast forward of filming with a television or movie camera to give the impression time is passing quickly.

In the moment, I paused to think if time was really in fast forward, what that would be like. For one, I would be finished with my workout. I'd already be back from yoga, showered, dressed and well into my day. My calls would be made, the bathroom cleaned and office work complete.

Although there have been many times in my life that I wished for time to pass quickly, I honestly prefer now to keep the clouds of time at their natural pace. In other words I am choosing to live my life with more attention to more moments. The slower I can be the more details I am aware of. Even if what I am experiencing may not be pleasant, I don't want to cheat myself out of seeing what lessons are there for me.

Yesireeee, if I had the opportunity to fast forward time to something I am waiting for, I'd hate to think of all the wonderful moments I would miss in between.