The world feels heavy today.
Heavy to wake up to today.
Maybe a little bit too heavy to hold up today.
And all around me, I see that heaviness of spirit. In the low-lying clouds. In the flags sitting solemnly at half mast.
On these kinds of days, when the people of this nation sit in front of their TV screens, hands clenched, heads bowed, hearts breaking, there is a heaviness that sits on us as we think about what has happened.
About the one’s we’ve lost in an act so tragically violent. And about the loss of lives and homes caused by explosions which were not intentional.
We mourn together.
And in this heartache made up of sharp edges, I must admit that I don’t understand this world sometimes. I am knocked breathless and tear-streaked while driving in my car when I try to understand what kind of life this is where people are so bitten with bitterness that they simply cannot stop thrusting wires together to push love apart. What kind of life this is when tragedies occur where homes are flattened and loved ones lost in what can only be called an accident. Even when there is no malice in the causing of the losing, in this life, we are forced to learn the taste of loss.
Sometimes I get so stuck in the sorrow which I feel and the salty tears which I cry for people who I have never met. People whose faces I never saw until they were held up in the arms of the 6 o’clock news. People who I mourn for because I have no doubt that they were bright and beautiful. And I don’t know if they had painting hands or writing hands or running feet or wedding bands, but I know without any hesitation that they were lovely. Imperfect and lovely like any of us. Like all of us.
And think that it’s okay. To mourn them. To honor them.
But I also have to remember that in all this heavy darkness of the days which feel like night, there is still light.
Because we see it. In volunteers; the men and women supporting towns with hard work and donations and selfless hearts. The ones who sprinted into the smoke and devastation to help anyone and everyone they could. The ones who wrap people up in prayer, in person and afar. The ones who tie shoelaces tight and vow to run 26.2 miles for the ones who were injured and the ones who lost their lives. We, us, humans, broken and ugly and evil as we can be, can also abandon darkness and choose to shine some light.
We have that capability. In the wake of tragedy and heartbreak, we can become little sunbeams, glowing and coming together and filling each other up with hope and healing and new life, glimmering and growing until finally, we can look up, past the heavy, and see the clear blue of a bright new sky.
-Jessi Sanders 2013