Heroes

Monday Morning Musings:

“She preferred imaginary heroes to real ones, because when tired of them, the former could be shut up in the tin kitchen till called for, and the latter were less manageable.”
–Louisa May Alcott, Little Women

“I am of certain convinced that the greatest heroes are those who do their duty in the daily grind of domestic affairs whilst the world whirls as a maddening dreidel.”
–Florence Nightingale (I can’t find a source.)

I watch the veterans gather in the park,
realize the day and date of infamy—once stated–
here on a battleground site, they hold flags and remember
the dead; some were heroes, some were fools
or the desperate or despised–perhaps

if not felled in attacks, in battles,
bombed, bulleted, sabered, shattered
to die in hometowns or foreign places,
to be lost to the sea, buried in a mass grave,
shrouded for eternity—heroes–

Cold December Morning. Delaware River.©️Merril D. Smith 2020

and I think of the nurses, the caregivers,
the resisters, and deliverers of secrets,
carriers of food; those who’ve hidden the persecuted,
the arrested, the tortured, the executed
only for helping and caring, for not despairing

that a better time will come. They strive, they try
and if they wonder why, still they go on. I think of the heroism
of the everyday. The unsung, the ungloried ones,
who feed, teach, defeat addictions, live each day,
finding a way to make it through

another day to night, and again and again,
and perhaps even then to see the beauty of sun, moon, and stars,
to listen to the geese in flight, soar with them in dreams
of a better places and delight
in each small triumph. Wait for storms to pass—

to glory in the light at last.

Light through the clouds. Delaware River at Red Bank Battlefield. ©️Merril D. Smith 2020

Merril’s Movie/Theater/TV Club: We streamed Heroes of the Fourth Turning, a production of the Wilma Theater in Philadelphia. The cast and crew quarantined and worked in a bubble of rented houses in the Poconos (filling in for Wyoming) to produce this excellent filmed production. Though it certainly is not a play for everyone.
“Four Catholic conservative friends gather at a late-night backyard party in Wyoming, shortly before the 2017 eclipse. As they wait for the arrival of their mentor and newly appointed college president, secret passions and fears surface, revealing their troubled place in a divided country.”—Wilma Theater


We also are almost finished with the second season of The Umbrella Academy (Netflix). Not my usual type of show, but enjoyable, and I’m quite involved in this second season, which is surprisingly relevant. Elliott Page’s recent announcement reminded me that we hadn’t yet seen the second season of the show, and now we have only the last two episodes to watch. Today I read an op-ed by a young transgender activist saying what Page’s announcement meant to her. There are all sorts of heroes.

29 thoughts on “Heroes

  1. This is so timely Merril. Every time I hear another health care worker begging people to help them by wearing masks and not gathering indoors my heart breaks. Its such a simple gesture of care and respect for your fellow humans..the ones risking their lives every day to save you from your folly.

    And the photos as always…(k)

  2. This past year has put the spotlight on so many unsung heroes who deserve recognition. Beautiful musings, Merril. Of course, as usual, the photos are stunning. For some reason, this post was late popping up in my feed. I was getting worried!

  3. Beautiful tribute to all the heroes of all sorts. You images are lovely!

    Umbrella Academy was quite enjoyable. It took us a good three episodes to really get into it but then we really loved it.

  4. Perfect poem – again – with a tribute to those who really do heroic things every day and get no notice. They deserve our prayers – I include health care workers in mine. Your photos are just gorgeous.

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