Yesterday I read a great post by a fellow blogger named Vanessa at her blog, Bringing Up Buddhas . The post was called A Hard Pill to Swallow, and was about Vanessa’s epiphany and radical acceptance that world peace is impossible. She wrote:
“I’ve been unable to accept it. Unable to accept that man is robbing the earth of her heartbeat; unable to accept that our children are being taught to value competition over collaboration; unable to accept that national leaders are so angry and disturbed that they truly believe nuclear attacks will heal their pain; unable to accept that children are abused and people are starving and corporate greed rules the world and there’s very little a peace-yearning person like me, like you, can do about it.”
Her aim was to have gratitude for the pain and suffering in the world, since it can be used for growth and learning.
These beautiful words resonated as wise and true for me. Vanessa impressed me with her balanced view. I set off on my journey to be so grounded and to thank the Universe for such learning opportunities.
Then today happened.
About to peel potatoes for dinner, I learned that about two hours earlier two bombs exploded at the finish line of the Boston Marathon. Two people are dead, and dozens are injured. Reports talked of someone’s legs blown off.
Boston is a 45 minute drive from my home. I’ve spent countless hours there over the course of my life in museums, cafes, and shops. We love to take our little ones to the Children’s Museum, and the Museum of Science is one of Jack’s favorite places.
There was no detailed news online at that point, and there was no way I was turning on the TV with Jack and Emily there. They are so little; at least I can shield them from such horror.
Feeling like my head was full of sand, I texted my best friend, who’s husband works in Boston. He was safe and on his way home. I called my mom to see if they had on their TV, and what they could tell me. She assured me that our security level would be on high alert for any more issues, but there was no news on who would create this senseless act of terror. Then I remembered that our upstairs neighbors were at the marathon today, as their daughter was running. A call to them let us know that they were okay as well. These calls did nothing to un-rattle my cage.
Thinking of Vanessa’s post, I wondered what could possibly be learned from this kind of violence which just seems to grow more rampant each day. I guess it is too soon to tell.
Motherhood is the only thing that keeps me calm in the face of crisis. I know I must keep my shit together for my children, so that they don’t get scared or freak out. So, I calmly went about making dinner while Jack watched PBS Kids, and Emily napped. Had it not been for my small folk, I probably would have been pacing around like crazy cakes, stock piling cans and water and planning to never leave my home again.
A few years back, I read a book called “Free Range Kids”. The author quoted all kinds of statistics about how much safer our world today is for children then it was 20 or 30 years ago. I loved this book and found it infinitely reassuring as a social-worker-mom who sees way too much horror at work and then comes home and worries that every run of the mill developmental blip is a sign of some strange trauma.
I thought of “Free Range Kids” today, and then I thought of Newtown, Aurora, Littleton. I thought of how the Boston Marathon is this wonderful, fun, free event that brings people from around the world together to celebrate an ancient sport. What kind of a sick mind seeks to harm to innocents? I want to believe that the world is safe for my children, but days like today sorely challenge this belief.
So, I guess I am going to sit tight and wait for the learning and growth to come. I’m really going to try to have faith in the safety of the world.
Blessings and big love to Boston. Namaste.