The Other Side of Today

Happy Veterans Day!

Today we remember and honor all military members, past and present who have served our nation honorably.

Thank you for your service and sacrifice, for raising your hands to dedicate yourself to the principles which made our country free.

Thank you for supporting and defending the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; and bearing true faith and allegiance to the same.

You have ushered in and protected the liberating freedom Americans have been blessed to enjoy every day of our lives!

~ ~ ~

The Other Side of Today

Written by Liz Detter in July 2009, in honor of her son and his fellow Marines.

Sunlight streaks across a morning landscape swathed
in greens and blues and hints of brown.
A splash of orange and pink add a flourish
to the masterpiece that is the morning.

Red, white and blue faithfully stand guard
just beyond my window at the entrance of the day,
a subtle reminder of those I do not know or see
who faithfully offer the valuable moments of their lives
in exchange for mine.

I’m greeted by a gentle morning; a calm scene,
sparkling with wonder and promise. Palm fronds shimmer,

hibiscus leaves hold the shadows and patterns
of what lies in the path between them and the new day’s glowing plan.

The grass is a canvas of light and dark;
long shadows dwindle as the moments tick by…

Dew sparkles like discarded gems on blades of green,
or as if they’ve been lost by a youthful morning
as it rushes by on its way to another grown up day.

The brilliance of the moment,
like gleaming treasures in hand, beg to be spent.
The day hasn’t made up its mind what it wants to become,
and I watch as it hems and haws from one moment
to the next trying to decide its course.

The pigeons wonder too as they survey the morning
from their lofty vantage point set against a page of blue.

While this sweet-tempered morning fresh with new energy
offers me a palette of colors, plans and choices,
a full-fledged day in sandy hues is well-underway
on the opposite side of my world.

On that face of the globe,
soft sunrise moments have aged into edgy afternoons
shouting their harsh demands.

Adrenaline and strain take their toll;
plans and decisions already unfolded are spent,
wrinkled and caked with the outcome of the hour.

The rising sun creates a halo around the stars and stripes,
reminding me to pray for God’s strength and courage
for those living a parallel moment, cultures away.

A friend’s son, Doug, on base in Afghanistan in 2009

The clouds have wandered off now
and they seem to have left space enough
to write innumerable possibilities on the open sky;
it’s a blank and colorful page.

If I could, I’d scribble a handwritten message there in broad strokes
for someone on the other side of this backdrop…

…for one who might be looking up at the same expanse,
wondering if anyone knows or cares
that they are serving faithfully under that sweeping stretch of blue.

I’d sign with my heart and remind them we are only out of sight,
but not too far from their prayers or the power
of God’s love to reach beyond the gap.
Then I’d close my eyes and thank Him
that they made it through another day
beneath that common fold.

A goodnight wish seals the ending of my day,
a prayer that they will sleep soundly
under God’s ever-watchful care.

Even so, the flag beyond my window moves and waves,
to honor those whose unwavering service lies beyond my sights…

… on the other side of today.