May 30th, 2005

Sheri - yahoo icon

A very fulfilling Memorial Day...

The day started off with a visit to Punchbowl (our National Veterans' Cemetery) to visit my Dad and to look at all the decorations. Each year people from all over the state donate hundreds of flower leis that are put on each gravesite on the morning of Memorial Day. It's a really beautiful site to see each year!

I brought along my camera and ended up taking a lot of photos there. For some unknown reason, recently I've been getting back into the photography mood... For those of you who don't know, I actually graduated with a degree in photography over ten years ago - and just how I ended up working at a brokerage firm, I will never know. It's been a while since I've felt the desire to pick up my F5 (and yes, now it's probably a relic...) and take some pictures, just for me. Well, today was the day. :)

After taking photos at Punchbowl, I asked Mark if we could go to the Latern Floating Ceremony at Ala Moana so I could take more photos. The Latern Floating Ceremony is an annual event held every Memorial Day in which hundreds of lighted laterns are released into the ocean as a symbolic gesture of paying respect to our ancestors (and setting their spirit free) - and it also marks the beginning of the Obon season (which are services and cultural dances held throughout the summer to pay respect to our relatives who have passed on.) It's a Buddhist tradition and though some people might scoff at me for going (since I'm Christian), I see it more as part of my culture that I want to experience.

I've never actually been to a Latern Floating Ceremony before, but it was beautiful. Seeing the hundreds of high school students release the laterns into the ocean and to see the HUNDREDS of lighted laterns bobbing in the ocean and being swept out to sea was somehow the most calming thing that I've seen in a while. It was simply beautiful and I'm so glad that I was able to be there to see it! I took a lot of photos, but none with a digital so I'll have to get them processed before I know how they turned out (it's been SO long since I've had to get film processed that I'm not used to having to wait!) ;)

After the ceremony Mark & I went to get some ice cream at Coldstone... Yes, I know that I'm supposed to be on a diet, but it's been SO long since I had real ice cream (and I had the most healthy one you can think of with only fruit mix ins...) Can you tell I feel guilty about it? :P

It ended up being a very good Memorial Day. I'm so glad that I got out of the house today and did something more than just work on my websites... Sometimes I think I need days like today to get away from work, the website thing, etc... just a day that's good for my soul. Today was just the day I needed. :)
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