Tuesday, June 08, 2010
The power of pause-
One of the most powerful and moving moments during our trip to Oklahoma last week happened when everything stopped. The Folds of Honor Foundation headquarters sits just next door to the Patriot Golf Club building/pro shop and it is a beautiful structure complete with a bell tower at its peak.
The meaning of the name Folds of Honor comes from the thirteen folds in the flag- each representing something such as allegiance and honor and other worthy characteristics. The flag is always folded and given to the families of a fallen soldier. It is a powerful symbol and I am sure becomes quite a treasure for those grieving their loss to cling to.
At The Patriot Golf Club, while it is a spectacular golf course and wonderful place to enjoy the company of family and friends or business partners, our friend and club founder, Dan Rooney wanted it to be even more than just a nice place. His real purpose in creating such a place is for those fallen and disabled to be remembered and for the freedoms they fought for to be enjoyed by all. But the remembering part is of utmost importance. So, at precisely 1300 hours (1:00 pm) each day, the bell at the top of the foundation headquarters begins to toll and reaches to all corners of the course and its facilities. Dan asks that wherever you are; whatever you're doing, that at that moment you stop and pause and silently pause to pay respect for the ultimate sacrifice that so many people have made for our great nation. The bell then tolls 13 times- symbolizing the thirteen folds of the flag.
Chip and I were at the course on a couple of occasions when the bell began to toll. It was amazing and powerful for us to witness everyone and everything around us suddenly come to a halt-caps removed, heads bowed and people stood silently- for a long, solemn moment. I can hardly think of a time in my 'regular life' during the day in which everything suddenly comes to a halt and quiet fills the space for a full moment. So for me, to experience such an event with hundreds of people and activity swilring around me made quite an impact.
It seems such a powerful thing- and yet is a simple, quiet pause. Do you know how long a minute seems when there is no sound except the occasional bong of a bell? It feels much longer than a minute. And yet to think that thousands of lives have been given and we rarely take a moment to pause and remember and to be grateful for such sacrifice seems so unfair. The moment that the bell tolls at 1300 hour definitely gave me much to think about and made me so much more aware of what it truly means to be a patriot and give your all.
I was so inspired and moved by the impact I felt from a moment of quiet that I am now seeking to 'work' at least a moment of quiet into my life each day. And not just solely to think about sacrifice and freedom, but also because I realize how my soul is stirred by solace and quiet. As a busy mom of lots of little kids, quiet is hardly available to me and I realized just how much I truly appreciate it. Even for just a moment out of my day.
I write this all as a note to myself- I don't want to forget the power of pause. And if you are so inclined, I invite you to take a moment out of your own day and experience the same thing. I don't know what effect it will have on you, but in the busyness of our lives, it is something that is becoming more and more rare and hard to 'find'. I think it's something we all need a bit more of- quiet, reflective, powerful moments. Our souls were made for at least a small taste of that each day.