I’m free. Free to be. Free to feel. Free to go. I am free to breath, fill my hungry lungs with courage, love & endless amounts of hope. I am free to strive for the best. Free to always attempt to be the best possible version of myself. I am free to take responsibility for the choices I make & the choices I refuse to take. Free to be good. Be kind. Free to try to get life as right as I possibly can. I am free to dance, sing, shout out, write down, stand tall & free to stay still.
I am free. Have been free since the day I was born. Free from my first breath, word & step
And this, this makes me an enormously privileged person. I can see that now.
Like many of us, I grew up taking freedom for granted. Although history books taught me that my & our freedom was fought for by those who went before me, I considered it a normality. A constant. A permanent state of life. War belonged to movies, songs & the evening news. And even though the stories touched me, had me thinking & considering, stories was all they were & all they ever would be.
But something changed, or at least so it seems. I don’t know if it is me or whether it is the world, but freedom feels different these days. Fragile. Frail almost. It is a complicated world we live in & these are uncertain times. And as years go by, the freedom, which seemed so self-evident all our lives, seems to be threatened from all sides. And that frightens me.
And that’s why I want to take a moment today to stand, to think & to celebrate. Take a moment to realize that I am free. Free on the tempestuous spring day. Free to watch high clouds pass by my window. Free to think of that day in early May, now so many years ago, when this tiny land I live in was liberated. Seventy years later, I am free to wonder about the people who walked the streets that day; the singing crowds, the faces looking up at the sky, the blossom dancing down in perfect showers of pink. Seventy years later, I stand & try to understand the full meaning of that freedom. The weight of it. The feel of it. Freedom falling from the faces, freedom seeping through the gates, the barbwire, the crumbling walls. That beautiful, joyous freedom pouring into the houses, the fields & the waterways. Freedom spreading across the years, finding its way into this room, where I stand & understand how privilege I am to be free today.