Earlier this morning:
As I sit in the dark feeding my daughter, I listen to the stillness. The quiet that wraps around us just as her chubby little fingers wrap around one of mine. All I can hear (and feel) are the little gulps she makes as she eats.
Then I hear it. The “rata-tat- tat, rata-tat-tat,” in the distance. Then quiet. Then the sound again. No, it isn’t the increasing gang warfare in the area. It is a sound we have become familiar with. For some reason, and this bothers me a bit, this familiar sound is reassuring in its repetition.
We have lived close to the army/air force base for almost six years. We have been accustomed to hearing the sounds of large jets practicing their take off’s and landings, the sounds of the army using their new artillery. Our house shakes with their efforts and precision with blowing things up during the day and night.
As I sit holding my little girl safe in my arms on this labor day weekend, I can’t help but be thankful for those sounds, that in many different countries would symbolize and mean war. I feel like here, those sounds are the sounds of freedom.
I hate fighting. If I were born in the 60’s, I would have definitely been in the “make love, not war” groups. It disturbs me, the ignorance and impatience in others that has bred hate and need for control and power. I cannot and will not, however, forget that our freedom has been paid for by the blood of those who have fought for us, our rights, and died for us. This includes those families who have lost their loved ones for all time that fought to protect our freedom, or insure the freedom of others.
I can’t pretend to have any understanding of what it would be like to grow up in a conflict zone; Of war, death, and despair all around me. The thought brings tears to my eyes, and I pray for those people in the countries where gunfire and bombs are an everyday occurrence. I also can’t pretend that at any time, we could be one of those countries at war and that we could be attacked on our own soil. We have been attacked, repeatedly, but by angry people and terrorists… at least not a full country for several hundred years. I know in the back of my mind that this could easily change.
For now, I sit in peace. In my own blissful ignorance of what is occurring in the world (because as a new mommy, things are so depressing I have sworn off the news for now). I sit, holding the precious gift that has been given to me, in the silence, thankful. Thankful for the gift, thankful for my freedom, and thankful I can live another day with the blessings I have in my life.