Memorial Day, Chickens, and Graduates
May is a month for gratitude and tears. We are grateful for the warmer weather and the budding of the trees that bring a promise of renewal. We are grateful for the opportunities to honor our mothers and to honor those who gave their lives for our freedom. We cry through graduations and Memorial Day ceremonies. We shed tears at the birth of a new child or grandchild. We marvel over new life and are thankful that we can get up in the mornings and have one more day to enjoy. While May marks the end of the school year for many (unless we are serving extra time for snow days), it promises new beginnings for many others.
Nature is full of promise and new beginnings. My two geese have produced four little goslings. They glide effortlessly about the pond sandwiched between their mother and father for protection. The nests and bird houses are full of babies stretching out their necks for a bite to eat. The pond is full of new bluegills. Elsewhere, lizards, bugs and chipmunks are being born in multiples. (I am sure snakes are being hatched as well but I do not like to think about them.) Our new chickens arrived at the post office chirping their heads off, alive after three days in a box. As soon as we poke their beaks in the water they scurry around and begin scratching. All full of the promise of life.
Our own chicks are graduating. High school graduates are preparing to leave the nest and venture out on their own. Freedom is something they can smell. University graduates are preparing to enter – or re-enter – the workforce to apply the knowledge they have gained. Freedom from parents is not their most pressing issue. All graduates are all full of potential to reach new goals and make a difference in their world. We attend, applaud, and bawl to Pomp and Circumstance as we watch our very hearts march out to the music. We can’t help it.
I recently attended the dedication ceremony of my great-niece. Her parents promised to bring her up in the Lord. She is a life of promise waiting to happen. My fifth child graduated from high school and is waiting to enter the marines in July. My nephew graduated with honors from a large university at the age of 37. Another nephew will begin medical school and face the challenges of taking care of others. My new grandson was born in Texas. His new mother and father are changing their outlook on life by the minute. I cried my way through every one and am thankful that May comes only once a year.
As May comes to an end, I don’t think it will hurt to call our mothers one more time and tell them how much we love them and thank them for all they did for us. I don’t think it will hurt to remember all of our graduates in prayer one more time as they enter a new phase of their lives. It won’t hurt to call our dads, granddads, sons and daughters who serve(d) in the military and thank them for giving up their freedoms so that we can retain ours.
I wipe the tears from my face and am thankful to be alive one more day to participate in a life full of promise and to celebrate with those who are facing new challenges and adventures.