Diary Of A Hollywood Refugee

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Memorial Day Messenger

"No friendship can cross the path of our destiny without leaving some mark on it forever"

I spent the weekend busily engaged in assorted activities, including my quiet contemplation. On May 30, I woke up at 0500 as usual, made a hot tea and sat on the balcony to watch the sunrise, and enjoy some quiet time before heading out.

As the sun rose, the birds greeted the day in song, and my thoughts drifted to those now serving in Iraq, Afghanistan, and around the world, to those that served in Nam, and then to those that served in WW2. I randomly selected a chapter from "The Greatest Generation" to read.

They say what is personal is universal,and in reading these letters,.it struck me that they could have just as easily been written by a soldier in Nam, or a milblogger today.

I thought of friends I've made through the carepackages I've sent, the blogs I've read, and the serendipitious encounters through my travels, and on one very special Thanksgiving Day in LA, and I gave thanks to them all, for they have shown by example, that courage is not the absence of fear but rather the judgement that something else is more important than fear.

Churchill said that "courage is rightly esteemed the first of human qualities, because it is the quality that guarantees all others". Those that serve today lay testimony to that truth, as did those who served previously.

As I contemplated on all this, tears streaming down my face, a dove flew onto the balcony rail, and cooed gently. Not so unusual, but this time, somthing extraordinary happened!

This dove slowly made it's way off the rail, and onto the arm of the chair I sat in. As I stared at the lovely bird, it stared back at me, its gentle cooing soothing me, and then it slowly turned around and stood there, on the arm of my chair, staring at the sun rising.

There we sat, this beautiful dove and I, watching the sun rise, together!

Ten minutes went by, the dove flew away, and I heard the familiar bing of someone sending me an Instant Message, so I headed inside to chat with a friend. I chose not to blog about this at the time, because I wanted to fully understand the significance of what had just happened.

In Native American Medicine cards, the meaning of the dove includes peace, true love, simplicity, truth, innocence, harmony. It is a card of giving love for completely altruistic reasons. A dove also represents the feminine energies of peace, maternity and prophecy, dawn and dusk. In Christian mythology a dove brings an olive twig in the tale of Noah's ark, symbolising new beginnings and an end to hardship.

I can't think of a more interesting messenger on Memorial Day than a bird of peace that offers unconditional love.

I am forever grateful to ALL those who serve now, and served then; and to those few whose path I have had the privilege of crossing, whether in person, or in cyberspace, your friendship has left a beautiful mark on my heart, and I am a better person for knowing you.

To those fallen angels who have paid the ultimate price, you are gone, but NEVER forgotten.


  • At 11:09 AM, June 01, 2005, Blogger Sgt. B. said…

    You were, nay, ARE blessed with such a moment, Huntress...
    Thanks for the good thoughts...
    Like I keep saying, we wouldn't do OUR thing if it weren't because folks like YOU are worth it...
    Semper Fi, darlin', and thanks for keeping the faith...

  • At 12:47 AM, June 02, 2005, Blogger Barb said…

    What a wonderful experience, Huntress. Thank you for sharing it with us ... beautiful.

  • At 1:14 PM, June 02, 2005, Blogger AFSister said…

    Great story, Huntress- sounds like one of those perfect zen moments we all seek.

    The summer between eighth and ninth grade, our church youth group went to a retreat in Cleveland- about 4 hours from home. (My host family was so cool- their sons were Olympic swimmers!) At the time, my Grandpa was very ill- dying from cancer. I wanted to go on the retreat, but yet I was so afraid that Grandpa would die while I was gone. I was Grandpa's Little Girl- he took me everywhere. I should write a post about him someday. It was terrifying, but I went anyway.

    The first night, we had a campfire and roasted marshmallows while singing traditional camp songs and some church songs too. While sitting there, staring at the fire, my mind drifting away from the people around me and centering on my Grandpa, I noticed something in the flames.

    The outline of a dove. It wasn't a real dove, with feathers and all- just the outline of one. I sat there and watched it dance from side to side, and tried to point it out to the others around me. No one doubted that I did indeed see the dove, but no one else saw it. I can still see it clearly in my mind today.

    After a while, the image disappeared, and I was overcome by a sense of relief and felt incredibly calm. I believe that dove was sent to me as a symbol of the peace my Grandpa would eventually enjoy after his death a few months later- but also as a symbol of hope and tranquility for me. Something I desperately needed at the time.


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