We spent Memorial Day weekend with our four-year old granddaughter and her loving mother and father.  We also spent time with some of my high school classmates.  It was a bookends experience: the limitless possibilities of childhood, where all the world is a stage, and the more focused potential of our senior years, where the triumphs and scars of experience guide the choices we make in creating our present moments.

The wonder of a four-year old was somehow mirrored in the delight of aging companions.  It is only now, two years after our 50th, that some of us are meeting almost for the first time like somewhat familiar strangers.  Over the course of a leisurely and abundant meal the grace that decades of living have taught us brought stimulating conversations and heartfelt sharing.  Whether formally retired or not, the energy to make a difference still pulses in us.

It matters little whether the connections are new or rekindled.  They are threads of a shawl that will join us together in warmth, fellowship and support for the years remaining.

Memorial Day pays tribute to those whose service and sacrifice made possible moments like we shared this past weekend.  To the extent that each of us celebrates with child-like wonder the days given to us, contributes our gifts to the commons and offers our deepest gratitude for being alive and the freedoms we enjoy, we honor their legacy.