People often ask me if I miss living in Nebraska and I’d have to say that for the most part the answer is no. Don’t get me wrong, I like Nebraska, Omaha is a great city, and I say that with sincerity. People who have never visited before always walk away surprised by the fine food, cultural attractions, and there is nothing like the Henry Doorly Zoo. The answer is no because I have come to enjoy where I’m living and I’ve built a wonderful life.
There is one day of the year, though, that I get very nostalgic and feel a little homesick. It’s ironic really, that the holiday that brings back the fondest memories of Nebraska is the 4th of July. I now live in one of, if not the state where it all began. I’m seven miles from the where Washington and his troops crossed the Delaware on Christmas morning and I’m less than an hour away from where the Declaration of Independence was signed. I live in the heart of our nation’s history and fight for independence, but I miss my Nebraska celebration of the fourth and time with family and friends.
It might also seem peculiar to those who know me, given the fact that I’m afraid to light off fireworks and I’m not a big fan of noisy events. However, I find myself reminiscing about the memories of concerts in the park, neighborhood parades, and a day at the pool followed by fireworks at night for the third year in a row.
It seemed like the Garden of Reflection might be a good place to muse. I’m not sure if my goal was to remember or to forget. I tried to find the Garden once before and ended up being lost and it turned into an adventure. This time I followed the signs and not my GPS and found it without a hitch.
The garden is a tribute, a memorial to celebrate the lives of people in the community who lost their lives on the day that altered our feeling of security forever.
Tiny yellow daisies and small randomly placed American flags lined the entrance to the garden.
The paths around the fountain of two towers of water are maze-like and benches bearing the names of loved ones lost in the tragic event are scattered throughout the well groomed lawns.
The natural grass was taller than me and the long stretches of it created a feeling of privacy and a sense of peace. The mixture of green and brown reminded me that summer is halfway over and fall will soon arrive.
Bumble bees buzzed and butterflies flitted through the lavender and I managed to capture one of each.
I drank in the sun and thought about where I was and why I was feeling sad and I realized that it’s ok to feel, it’s ok to remember, and it’s ok to move on.
Next year I think I’ll have a barbeque.