I work at a yoga studio on Sunday mornings. It's simple work - greeting students, rolling mats, folding blankets. It only gets busy every three months, when students have to re-register for the next session. On these mornings I get to play with the cash register and answer questions: Do I have to sign up for all 12 weeks? What is the difference between Hatha and Vinyasa? Can I bring my dog?
Today is one of those mornings. What's more, I'm pulling a double-shift. Well, mostly a double-shift; I was fifteen minutes late. But I refuse to get flustered because it's also the Sunday before Memorial Day, which in the Washington DC area means something.
I was initially running late because I insisted on stopping for coffee. I transitioned to 'officially' late when my pilgrimage took me along Route 50 in Fairfax city where the 14th annual Ride of the Patriots was getting ready to begin. The Ride of the Patriots is the largest open motorcycle ride to Rolling Thunder, the annual motorcycle rally in downtown Washington DC that takes place every Memorial Day weekend in honor of POWs and those MIA.
As I continued driving towards my grande nonfat latte, I took notice of the people staking their ground upon the grassy areas: Children holding pictures of their loved ones at war; older men standing alone but together, their expressions stoic, their faces clean but unshaven; and young families wholly immune to the realities of war but there all the same in suburban solidarity.
Goosebumps covered my arms, and a smile warmed my lips. "Namaste and good morning!" I wanted to yell. Because in that moment, I stopped worrying about being late, stopped obsessing about my caffeine fix and instead offered my momentary love and presence.