Those who know me well know that I am always moving, always working, and rarely still.  Today I decided to take a walk in Arlington Cemetery to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier; a tranquil and serene place where I would try to allow my mind and heart to rest from the situations that keep me busy during the day and the concerns that keep me awake at night.

I arrived at the Tomb between the changing ceremony. Seemingly a non-issue at the moment, I sat. I was quiet. Time passed.  My mind was still, and my heart was full.  I sat for what seemed like an eternity.

But, as I sat, my mind again began to race, thinking of the work I should be doing, the reading awaiting me, the rest my body could desperately use.  I could feel the anxiety rising, the urge to stand and return to the chaos, but I sat.  I hesitantly decided that I wouldn’t move again until the next change of the guard.  And with that decision, for those moments, I stopped trying to trying to make sense of situations over which I have no control, stopped worrying about the emails that needed to be sent, I just stopped….and  I sat.  And the rain began to fall…and I sat.

I watched the guard as he moved, captivated by his precision.  I counted his steps and the moments between each turn and pace.  I embraced the surge of emotion that came over my body; all the worry, all the care, all the anxiety of the unknown that had been lying under the surface, hiding from those around me.  I breathed deeply, and wept silently.

The guard changed.  I rose, said a silent thank you to him for the moment of peace, and walked away, hopeful for another moment to sit again soon.

 

soldier