December 15, 2018, Prescott-
In Renaissance times, as we know from Shakepeare’s Macbeth, the dividing point in a month was called “the Ides”. This hearkened from a time when all months, save February, had 30 days, and the 15th served as the dividing point.
We’ve reached this point in December, in which the work-a-day cares and tribulations of the first two weeks, being as they are combined with holiday planning, give steadily away to the mix of moods and accent on celebrating that characterize the period, right up to January 1.
I spent the first part of today helping to lay wreaths on the grave sites of those who served in the military or were married to those who did. There were about eighty people, of all ages, doing this, following a forty-minute ceremony of patriotic music and short speeches, culminating with a 21-gun salute and playing of “Taps” (Il Silenzio).
Wreaths Across America is a national program of wreath-laying at the graves of those laid to rest in military cemeteries, on the third Saturday in December. It began with a wreath-maker in Harrington, ME, in 1992 and became a national effort in 2007. One of my maternal uncles, who served with distinction in the U.S. Navy, during World War II, was among those who helped organize the national effort. I learned of his involvement in this, upon his passing, in 2010 and have been involved in this effort, myself, since 2011.
The rest of this Ides of December saw me get out the last of my family Christmas cards and put up a hand-made wreath on my front door. The weather outside is far from frightful, but I aim to keep the atmosphere, around home and work at least, delightful.