The Vast Expanse of Beach and Sea

Utah Beach, Normandy, France.

My father landed D-Day +3 on Utah Beach and survived the Second World War. Five years ago, my husband and I took a long awaited trip to France. One of the places we went was to Normandy. As I stood on this beach (the only one of the five landing beaches we were allowed to walk on), I tried to take in not only its sheer beauty, but also the enormity of what had happened here in 1944. I bent down, scooping up a large handful of sand, and held it, thinking of all the soldiers who had landed here to help liberate France and Europe. Many lost their lives in the process.

Everywhere we went in Normandy, we saw plaques, statues and museums to commemorate the beginning of the end of the war and the breaking of the Nazi’s death grip on France. I couldn’t help but be humbled by France’s gratitude.

I think the beauty, vastness and history of this beach has something to impart to us in our own troubled time. The scourge of COVID 19, like WW II, leaves us in a world with the stark differentiation of before and after. Our world has changed, never to be quite the same. I take comfort not only from the memory of the soldiers who landed on this beach, but also from the people of France. They endured great hardship and privation, yet emerged into a world they could rebuild. For me, it helps put the current #ShelterInPlace directive in perspective. Added to that I realize that while this is difficult, I am among the lucky in that my income and housing are not affected while I remain confined to my apartment, and I have access to enough food. All of that makes me think, “This is hard, but I can do this. I may at times be teary or grumpy about it, or overwhelmed, or scared, but I can do this. I must do this. It is a small price to pay to keep myself and others safe.

Posted for Tina’s Lens-Artists Challenge #90 – Distance.

From This One Branch…..

……..Can Come Countless Branches of Hope


I would like to focus on hope in these dark times, and what each of us can do to help. While we know that every person who has COVID 19 can spread the disease to between 2-3 people, I would like us to look at the inverse of that, as we say in mathematics. Here in California we are sheltering in place. I know other places in the States are doing the same, as are many other countries. Think about the inverse of the equation. For every one person who is sheltering in place, whether or not you are infected, you are not spreading COVID 19 to 2-3 people, who in turn are not spreading the virus to an additional 2-3 people, who are not spreading…..  If you do not have the virus, by staying home you will continue to not have the virus. And just by following sheltering in place guidelines and only going out for necessary food and medical appointments, even if your state or country has not instituted this as a blanket procedure and you are only able to do this on your own, think of how many lives you can save. Even if you are someone who has to continue to work in an office, a warehouse, or a factory, you can still participate in social distancing during your off hours, thus reducing the risk both to you and your family and friends.

Please help save lives. Stay home. Stay safe. Stay well.

~Hannah ❤️

Posted for the Ragtag Daily Prompt: Countless Branches.