For me Memorial Day was the day when the pools open.
But this year is different. This year I can't ignore the fact that we've been at war on two fronts for longer than I ever thought possible. That thousands of soldiers have died, and many more have returned home with physical and emotional wounds from these warzones.
I've been staunchly anti-war throughout the years. But that doesn't mean that I don't recognize and appreciate the amazing sacrifice that all service women and men make. I do. And I'm proud to take a day and meditate on what an awesome undertaking being in the military is.
This spirit of mediation has made me realize something else, something else that I can't really ignore any more.
I am mourning and praying for the Gulf.
I finally had to admit to myself how torn up the oil spill is making me. It's so easy these days with the facebook/twitter/internet all the time culture to see the BP oil spill as just another news headline. You check in on it on you rss feed every morning. "Looks like it's still going. Hmm, I wonder what they're saying about Sex and the City 2?"
But I can no longer ignore this pit in my stomach.
I have rarely in my life felt more helpless that I do when I watch footage or read about the disaster happening at the bottom of the Gulf. The Gulf that is so dear to me and so many millions like me who depend on it now just for a source of food or recreation, but as a place of meditation and definition.
Our own small unique sea.
It's being devastated.
And there's so little we can do to save it. The oil keeps on spilling. And the people with the resources and knowledge seem to be as in the dark on how to stop it as well, you or me.
And what can we do?
We can boycott BP all we want. It's becoming glaringly obvious that the corners they cut and the regulations they flaunted led to the explosion and the spill.
The oil still pours.
We can donate to inevitable cleanup effort. And believe me, we are.
The oil still keeps flowing.
We an write to our representatives and senators and shake our fists at the administration.
But that doesn't nothing to stop up the spill.
And so today, I'm also taking to moment to also remember the 11 people who died on the Deepwater Horizon rig. To remember the beauty of our own small sea as it was and to urge myself and those around me to take care of and help nurse back to health the sea that it will become. To take this moment as a call to arms for myself and my family. We need to find a way to live in a way that demands fewer resources, so that we won't feel the need to put our environment at such terrible risk for the sake of modern convenience.