Change Is Hard

…but change is certain.

Memorial Weekend Musings


I recognize that not everyone has a National Cemetery close at hand to visit. And I know I just shared with you the one near me.

It’s a new day.

But that was before volunteers placed flags on the graves of our veterans. Flags that glow when the sun is just rising on the Sunday before Memorial Day.

Adding color to the memories.

And because you couldn’t all get there I decided to go for you, and for me, to see those glowing flags and reflect for a moment or two what it all means.

Our local version of Arlington.

What does it mean, on this Memorial Day weekend, that so many people are on opposite sides of so many issues leaving no middle ground to talk?

Row upon row of lifetimes.

Yet, both sides profess to love this country, a country that allows for differences of opinions. Just, apparently, not those opinions so different than our own.

Nature’s flyover.

When you walk among the white headstones in the early morning light, alone with no sound but the birds and a distant train, you have to wonder if we’re all so very different. If maybe, rather than different, we’re just stubborn.

Quiet company.

Still. I know it’s complicated, I have strong opinions too. Things that seem so obvious to me. But, it turns out, things seem obvious to the other side too.

Talking louder doesn’t make you right. Or wrong for that matter. Just louder.

Expressing an opinion.

In this quiet place, on this quiet morning louder seems obscene. Even the birds and animals that roam here at night are quietly moving to the outskirts as the sun comes up, willing to give the place back to the humans for their special day. We might learn from them how to share the world.

Live and let live. Both sides. Everyone.

Time to move on.

It’s easier to listen in the quiet, and it’s quiet out here. So many people, so many families represented. So many stories to be told if we care to listen.

Missed every day.

The folks out here cared enough to give a part, or the whole, of their lives to keep this country safe. And strong. We should care enough not to harm it now. We need to stop yelling, trying to make our point, and quiet ourselves the better to listen.

Sometimes it’s hard to let the light in.

So many people are missed this holiday weekend. So many families bear the burden and deserve our respect and understanding.

Dreams, achieved or not, make the world worth living.

Both sides must move toward the middle in order to preserve what these families gave to us.

Both sides.

Life is made of shadows and light together.

It’s a choice we each have to make within ourselves. Find a quiet place this weekend and think about what it all means to you.

The light will always shine.

And if your family is missing someone today…know that we’re all out here sending you hugs.

Author: dawnkinster

I'm a long time banker having worked in banks since the age of 17. I took a break when I turned 50 and went back to school. I graduated right when the economy took a turn for the worst and after a year of library work found myself unemployed. I was lucky that my previous bank employer wanted me back. So here I am again, a long time banker. Change is hard.

23 thoughts on “Memorial Weekend Musings

  1. Amen to this, Dawn.


  2. I was hoping for a shot of the magnificent dry stacked stone wall there. Best one around.
    I visited yesterday too just to see the flags and feel the place.


  3. Wise words that we all need to think about.


  4. And gorgeous photos.

    Sent from my iPad



  5. Thoughtful post. No easy answers. There are disagreements even when you ask the pragmatic question, “What are the results of ideas and policies?” Sigh.


  6. I thought when I saw the picture that there were candles then I realized it was just the sunlight. Beautiful pictures. It’s ten years tomorrow that my dad passed away.


  7. Wow, wonderful essay. And lovely photos. I forget every year until it’s a bit too late that there is a national cemetery “only” about 1.5 hours from here and that it could be quite emotional to go and look and get some photos to remember it by. In particular there’s a Korean War memorial; dad served in Korea during those years, although not in a combat role but close to the lines. Reading your post, I thought, wow, it’s not too late to go for this year! So I just looked it up and it doesn’t open until 8, and by then it might start getting crowded (I don’t know–it’s in the desert of the Central Valley and not too close to much of anything, but maybe).
    But maybe I’ll try again to get to the large general cemetery a couple miles away, where I’ve taken photos a couple of times before.


  8. You caught the light beautifully!


  9. What stunning photos! I especially love the one with the hot air balloon floating high in the sky — how’d you ever manage to capture that?!? Lovely message as well. I’m reminded of the saying, The one convinced against his will is of the same opinion still. I think compromise is what’s needed. Yes, both “sides” lose something, but both sides gain, too. And perhaps, if we’re willing to listen and exchange ideas in a calm manner, perhaps we can learn from one another. And wouldn’t it be wonderful to learn we’re not as far apart as might seem at first?!


    • I was getting back in the car, pretty much finished with the photo shoot when the balloon showed up. I thought the difference between the cold white stones and the warm, colorful balloon made an interesting image.

      Compromise is so hard. Here I write about the need for it, but I’m locked right now in a war on a truck safety issue that is being inserted into the infrastructure bill, and I won’t compromise on the wording. Sometimes I can talk the talk but not walk the walk. 😦

      Liked by 1 person

  10. The light was perfect … and you caught it perfectly … and your words are perfect. I wonder what the future holds.


  11. Beautiful images and post, Dawn. As someone already noted, there are no easy answers. I’ve moved in and out of thoughts about the middle. The problem with compromise has been that one side rarely ever does it (as evidenced by declarations from a certain senator who loudly and clearly states that his only agenda, ever, is to stop whatever the president wants to do if that president is not of his party). And yet, there are those who continue to try. I admire their persistence.


    • Yes, I was hoping that certain Senator who has bottle-necked so much would have been voted out. But that didn’t happen. So we are in a bad place now, with no clear majority and no business getting done. Again. I’m working right now on stuff that will or will not make it into the infrastructure bill. I am trying not to compromise because I don’t think we can broker safety…but it’s hard because without compromise it’s all or nothing and for so many years we’ve received nothing…it’s tempting to try to get something, even at the expense of the bigger picture. It’s complicated.


  12. A touching post, both words and images.


    • Thank you Otto. I found myself out there, so early in the morning with no one else around, with tears running down my face. I don’t have any family member buried there but I read so many stones that said something along the line of family missing their person, that I started to realize how much I miss some of my own family who have gone on. It’s a hauntingly beautiful place that touches me deeply.

      Liked by 1 person

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