House of Memory

Practicing gratitude on Memorial Day, and moving into the season with a fresh perspective.
Ready, set, reset. Photography by Fiona Smallwood

By Donna D’Cruz

It’s that time of year again: a glorious reawakening, a time of sand, sea and sunshine when we take tentative, halting steps into the light from our winter hibernation, much like Mole in The Wind in the Willows emerging from his winter quarters in search of fresh air and new adventures.

It’s a time to reflect, even in the midst of anticipating summer pleasures and laying out plans for the warmer weather, on the larger meaning of this significant holiday. The time around Memorial Day is also an opportunity to dwell in gratitude for those people, past and present, who are the bastions of our country, keeping us safe under the aegis of duty, serving and protection. They’ve been getting a bit of a short shrift lately.

Sometimes, it takes more than blithely saying “Thank you for your service” to those who protect our country. It’s not enough to toss those words off lightly, paying scant attention to what we’re saying, and thinking our patriotic duty is fulfilled. We need to acknowledge the price paid daily in lessened family time for those folks.

As Adlai Stevenson said so pointedly, “Patriotism is not short, frenzied outbursts of emotion, but the tranquil and steady dedication of a lifetime.”

That’s one way perhaps, to welcome a reset as we rewire our minds at this time of the year, which is all about fresh perspectives, after all. This can also be a joyous journey of personal reflection, allowing us to reset our memory banks, casting off or modifying the distress of painful recollections that hold us in the past. We have the power over our choices and must be active, positive participants with a clear lens on how we view our recollections. Are you a victim, a survivor or a thriver? These questions are a powerful meditation.

It doesn’t necessarily mean ad nauseam inner dialogue and discussions about the past. Rather, it can be a resolve to live fully in the moment, creating the future we wish to have. What does your transformed world look like?

Finding the tools to navigate this path can be challenging, so let’s roll up our spiritual sleeves. Ready, set, reset.

For now, let’s invite the healing sunshine to do its work in warming our physical being and our psyche. Drench in the sun, warmth and suck up that vitamin D. Let us do what we know we need to do in moving our bodies…walk, dance, run, skip, hop. Let us nourish the body with delicious, nutritious foods.

As we gather with others, let’s choose to elevate as individuals and together. Let’s have fun, sun and companionship as we begin to emerge together in the post-COVID era. Let us have an attitude of gratitude for everything in this one time only merry-go-round that is life.

Tune in for weekly Dip Into Bliss meditations with Cristina Cuomo and Donna D’Cruz on Instagram, @Donna D’Cruz;