I’ve spent the past few days fluctuating between sheer elation for the gift of life and utter despair for the premature loss of life and hope last Friday. How can we move forward? How do we keep our faith in humanity? I honestly don’t know.
On Friday, my last patient of the day had a 5 year old and a 3 year old. Two precious babies who were spared from knowing the gory details of the massacre, but who seemed somehow aware that all was not well in the world. My patient’s eyes were glassy as she held them close and tried to participate with therapy. We both were in a different world though, as we watched her two healthy boys wriggle around, their little faces glowing with wonder. How? Why? Who could do this?
On Friday after work, I went for a run. I didn’t know what else to do, and I was getting ready for the Holiday Half Marathon on Sunday. I went for 4 miles in the darkness, and let the tears flow. While I don’t have children of my own, I’ve felt the joys of holding little ones close as a babysitter and as a friend to mothers. Their eyes, full of life and innocence, can never seem to open wide enough to take in all the world has to offer. At times I felt numb, and other times so full of emotion that I had to stop, squat down and cry. It was a healing cry, and a yearning to reach out, to do something. A cry for help from the Earth to pick us up and put us back together. Especially our friends in Newtown.
But it felt good to run. It felt good to go fast and feel something so real that it was terrifying. While everyone is dealing with this tragedy differently, I feel that it’s important to face the reality that it happened. And it happened at an elementary school, the most horrible place I can think of for a massacre.
2012 has been a wild and crazy year for just about everyone I know. A year of trials, a year of lessons, accidents, triumphs, and love to name a few. On December 21st, 2012, some believe that the world will end, thanks to the Mayan calendar ending on this date. While I’m not sure that will happen, I do think that we are entering a new era of sorts. A time to reflect on the changes that need to be made and a time to realize what is really important to us. So what is really important? For me, it’s relationships. Relationships with ourselves, with each other, and with our environment.
Running is the glue that brings all these relationships together. Running strengthens us physically and ignites within us the inner glow we need to move forward. Running with others captures the moments that are most raw, when we’re not afraid to be ourselves and seek help from our friends. And running with the Earth beneath us provides the healing energy needed to keep our faith in humanity. Running in the darkest hour, like I did on December 14, 2012, can provide us with an inner peace and courage to go towards the light.
While I hope that the world doesn’t end on December 21st, I do hope that we can all continue on our journey, one foot in front of the other. Hopefully, stumbling towards the light.
A QUESTION FOR YOU: WHAT IS MOST IMPORTANT IN YOUR LIFE GOING INTO 2013?