D-Day 2023- Tucson
On Tuesday June 6, 2023 6:30 AM in Tucson Arizona, I stood by our patio window, coffee mug in hand, thinking of the day ahead of me. There is a whole chorus of birds that sing early in the morning from about 5:45 till about 8:30. It’s an orchestra of cheerful sounds: chirping, tweeting, trilling, twittering, and a background of cooing. I can’t help but smile.
Tuesday’s my writing day. Our Eastside Writing group meets on Zoom to share our intention for daily writing. We are quite an eclectic group. Today there are five of us. Our North Carolina writer is doing a family history and has taken over her whole basement as her writing headquarters. Our Colorado author is writing another novel set in Hawaii. A good locale for her since she spent many years living and working there. Our Maine scribe is a poet, has finished her 5-book mystery series, and is a tech expert. Her poetry is lovely. Her mysteries are interesting and entertaining, but she rises to an exhaulted position in my eyes because she writes, edits, formats, and uploads her work -on her own- on Amazon. A Tucson colleague is finishing up a bio for a new position, along with completing an assignment from last week that got her sidetracked, but in a humorous way. I’m looking forward to the results on that. My intention is to do two blurbs/blogs for my local Center for Spiritual Living- about our lending library, and bookstore. Should be easy. I love books. I’ve been organizing the close to 800 books in the library, and choosing display books from the bookstore.
Okay. Begin. June 6, 2023… And my mental history file opens.
June 6. D-Day
My trip to the Normandy beaches in 2014 with my husband was a huge contrast to the earlier peaceful stance by my patio. We walked on the wide beaches. Stop and stare out at the water. Our group walks along paths that lead to German bunkers. I take photos and more photos. Many of us in our group capture the beauty of the yellow flowers blossoming all across the field down to the blue, blue water beyond the beach. There is an involuntary gasp when our guide says, “Imagine this covered in blood in 1944.”
I abandon my book blog.
“On Tuesday, the whistling sound of the wind accompanied many re-enactors who came to Omaha Beach at dawn to mark the 79th anniversary of the assault that led to the liberation of France and Western Europe from Nazi control. Some brought bunches of flowers; others waved American flags.” Click on PBS above for the full story.
The D-Day Story. It might have been like this:Young soldiers sit in landing craft as they head in to the beach. Most are facing toward their destination. Old archived films I’ve seen showed young, so very young men, some smoking, serious faces. One soldier pats the helmet of the guy in front of him as they line up to get off. Another pats the shoulder of the guy in front of him. I see a wedding ring on his left hand. My heart is racing. Jumping, some ended their military duty in the water; some only lose boots, or a helmet, or gun. They dodge machine gunfire, mortars, and mines to get to the beaches. My stomach tightens into a knot.
I look at other websites. Today’s story in the Long Island Herald about Joseph Argenzio, Jr., the youngest soldier at D-Day, is gripping. Youngest Soldier at D-Day- a Long Island Resident
Bringing It Home
I feel gratitude and anxiety (a crazy mix for what I am feeling) that men, women, families sacrificed lives for our safety. I am angry that this “sacrifce” still goes on. I remind myself to connect with everyone I see, meet, talk with, think of. To be curious about ways we may be different and connect with ways we are the same. Maybe a smile. A nod hello. Breathing.
In the quiet of my patio I sit. May I be free from suffering. May I be well. May I be peaceful and at ease. May I be happy.
Someone passes by out on the path. I send this to him: May you be free from suffering. May you be well. May you be peaceful and at ease. May you be happy.
And to you. May you be free from suffering. May you be well. May you be peaceful and at ease. May you be happy.
Ethel Lee-Miller blogs regularly about people, the power of words, and her writing life. She’s retired from professional writing gigs after 30 years of teaching, coaching, editing, and gathering writers to publicly share their work. She is the author of Thinking of Miller Place, and Seedlings, Stories of Relationships. These days, in Tucson Arizona, she writes to inspire, to connect with folks, and for the pure enjoyment of it. Ethel enjoys sharing stories at Odyssey Storytelling, Artists Standing Strong Together, and anywhere there’s a mic or a Zoom room.