On April 21st, 1836, the most decisive battle in Texas history was fought. No, not the Battle of the Alamo, (the Alamo fell on March 6th, 1836). Nope, this was the Battle of San Jacinto, in which Sam Houston and his Texas forces defeated Santa Anna and his Mexican troops in just 18 minutes. They attacked during siesta time and forever turned the tide of Texas history. So much for naptime catching up to you!
Okay, I know that today is not the 21st of April – I’m a little late. But this date and its importance recently came to light.
Last Monday, the 21st, my daughter who is at Texas A & M went to a campus-wide event called Muster. This tradition is the most solemn and perhaps beloved celebration on not only the A & M campus, but locations throughout the world. During the Muster ceremonies all fallen Aggies (those who have died during the year) are recognized by roll call. A family member or family friend answers ‘here’ during the call. Once all the names have been read, the lights in Reed Arena are extinguished and candles are lit one-by-one for each fallen Aggie. I understand that the silence in the arena is . . . well, reverent and awesomely deafening. Across the world on April 21st, this event is replayed for Aggies on all continents.
The point of this ceremony is obviously to recognize those who have been loved and passed on, but more importantly, I believe the ceremony reminds us that we are all part of a whole.
Like the pond, drop a stone anywhere on the surface and the ripples are reflected in multiple directions in constant movement and reverberating back and forth until slowly over time they fade from existence.
Is that not the perfect analogy for our lives?
We begin with high speed, rushing to and fro in constant motion, skimming across the surface, sometimes barely touching before we change direction and begin yet again. Eventually, our momentum will lose force and vigor, finally easing our heady pursuit to leisurely explore the pond itself. At last, our wave will stop and grow still to become one with the water again. We never leave the pond; we are always part of the larger whole. No matter the speed of our wave, we are never separate and while each wave is unique, every one contains exactly the same properties.
Why did Texas A & M choose April 21st as the celebration for their Muster ceremony? Because whether Aggies or not, each is part of the larger whole. That particular day in Texas history is a celebration that life will preserve and press on. Once badly defeated (the Alamo), Texans refused to stop their hurdle toward independence and what they perceived as freedom. Yet, here to, they were all part of the bigger pond. Texas became part of the United States, and now the US is just part of the global community. Our pond continues to grow, but we are all inherently connected to one another.
As someone about mid-way through my life, my wave speed has slowed. The hectic pace of raising small children and balancing a nonstop career has eased. I find moments to sit on my back porch and enjoy a sunset and cup of tea – or glass of wine. That still depends on the day leading up to the sunset moment. But enjoy the moment, I do.
Here’s holding a cup of tea up high to each of you and hoping you find time in your day to celebrate your uniqueness and your wholeness, as well.
Personally, I love sharing a pond with you.
Come on by the back porch anytime and sit awhile.