Happy 4th of July! The Star Spangled Banner

 

The 4th of July is here again, a day to remember and celebrate heritage, and a day to remember that freedom comes at a cost. The national anthem of the United States was born during battle, and reminds us that freedom requires courage…we must be brave if we want to be free. Bravery comes in many forms, some more visible than others. How are you being brave in your life?

Here’s a treat:

The Star Spangled Banner at the Lincoln Memorial

And a little history of this song…

The Star-Spangled Banner

O say can you see, by the dawn’s early light,
What so proudly we hail’d at the twilight’s last gleaming,
Whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight
O’er the ramparts we watch’d were so gallantly streaming?
And the rocket’s red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there,
O say does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

On the shore dimly seen through the mists of the deep
Where the foe’s haughty host in dread silence reposes,
What is that which the breeze, o’er the towering steep,
As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning’s first beam,
In full glory reflected now shines in the stream,
’Tis the star-spangled banner – O long may it wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

And where is that band who so vauntingly swore,
That the havoc of war and the battle’s confusion
A home and a Country should leave us no more?
Their blood has wash’d out their foul footstep’s pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave,
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

O thus be it ever when freemen shall stand
Between their lov’d home and the war’s desolation!
Blest with vict’ry and peace may the heav’n rescued land
Praise the power that hath made and preserv’d us a nation!
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto – “In God is our trust,”
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

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Traveling joys

So, Christmas, 7:00 pm, and we’re sitting in the Seattle airport waiting to fly south for part two of family holiday visits. We’re not alone…it’s actually busier than I thought it would be. Some shops and restaurants are closed, but there are several options open for those who (still!) need to shop or eat.

In the spirit of Christmas travel, I’m sharing this little gift from YouTube. Saw this a couple of weeks ago and thought it was a completely charming idea. Even if it’s just a publicity ploy, WestJet did a great job of sharing some Christmas joy and pulled off an amazing surprise. I don’t think I’ll have this to look forward to when I pick up my luggage…but maybe if was flying WestJet?!

Enjoy!

Perspective

Counting blessings…remembering what’s real…

Empathy

This video makes me think as I go about my hustle-bustle life, working in the health care arena every day…easy to see patients as data points and staff as names filling in the call calendar. This is a reminder that they are each individuals with hopes, joys, sorrows and fears; weary, excited, disillusioned or naïve. Patients and staff bring their whole selves into each encounter. As much as medical professionals try to be professional…they are human beings first. And patients may be easy or difficult to address. But they are people, not numbers.

May we remember to give grace to the person across from us, walking beside us…even to the one who is unreasonable or demanding or simply not comprehending. You never know what is going on underneath the surface…what their life story is at this very moment.

“We must learn to regard people less in the light of what they do or omit to do, and more in the light of what they suffer.” 
― Dietrich BonhoefferLetters and Papers from Prison

Happy Memorial Day!

To American friends and family, may your celebrations today recall the service and sacrifice of fallen heroes, present soldiers, and the veterans who have given so much for freedom. As a mom of a US veteran, I am so grateful today that I can speak to him in person rather than visit a cemetery. Blessings and heart-felt compassion for those parents who are not so fortunate.

I am visiting Williamsburg, VA, this week, and there is no more powerful reminder of the struggle to begin this country than experiencing that era in this place. May we always be free, and may we always appreciate and honor those who gave us that gift with their blood, sweat, and tears. And may we always deserve this heritage of freedom and liberty.

Sunday miracle: the pulse of life

I saw this short video today and was fascinated by the images, and the potential for this technology in our lives. Watch it and be amazed! We’re all pulsing with color, all the time. We just didn’t know it.

Pulse of Life

I wish I could show you, when you are lonely or in the darkness, the astonishing light of your own being. ~ Hafiz

The Fun Theory

I saw this video today and it made me think…wouldn’t it be nice if everything we should do was disguised as something fun? Of course that’s the point of the video. Enjoy!

The Fun Theory