As a runner, a race volunteer, and a race spectator and cheerer, my heart ached yesterday. As a past resident of the Boston area, my heart ached even more fully. So much sadness.
After learning that all my friends in Boston were okay, I sat down to meditate. I found that, no matter how hard I tried, I could not meditate. I could not still my brain, stop the swirl of thoughts, stop the emotions fluttering in my chest.
And so, I did the radical thing–I didn’t meditate.
I just took a deep breath. I felt the emotions. I mean really felt the emotions. Which means that, yes, there were some tears a flying.
And then I did what I always do when I’m sad–I turned on the oven and started cooking. I poured out my emotions. Physically and metaphorically. Into the simple task of baking. My meditation in motion.
And as I baked I remember the words I wrote after the tragedy at Sandy Hook: “It is a time for Bravery.”
Bravery with a capital B. Courage. Courage to go on.
And we must be brave enough to continue to love.
In December following the Sandy Hook tragedy I wrote:
“Let’s take action. Let’s make the world a better place. Let’s make sure my children don’t know so many horrific acts of violence.
Let’s learn to love.
Because I am hopeful. Hopeful that we can change our world. Hopeful for a better tomorrow.
And I am ready to do something about it.
Lucy Maud Montgomery wrote “life is worth living as long as there’s a laugh in it.” And I can think of no better laugh than that of a young child. Let’s give them a reason to laugh. Let’s give them joy.
And so, this Christmas season, all I want for Christmas is love. Because if we start with love. We can be the change.
Don’t choose silence. Choose action. Step up and make a difference. Open your heart to compassion. Make time this holiday season, and always, to really be present with those around you. Let’s bring hope for a better tomorrow. Beginning today.
Because we can do it. But we must all step up together.
Let GOOD win. Let love be victorious.”
And there are stories of so much goodness at the marathon. We must remember the people coming together, the support. We must, no matter how difficult it may seem to be, remember to be optimistic.
And we must still run.
Run for Boston.
Today, we are all runners.
After baking, I did what any runner would do–I went to run club with Running for Brews in St. Pete. As the group’s facebook page said, “Runners aren’t just a community, we are a family.” And that family has grown stronger and tighter in the face of yesterday’s tragedy. Every time I run, I will be grateful that I have two legs that allow me to run. Every time I race, volunteer at a race, cheer at a race, just have friends PARTICIPATING in a race, I will remember to be grateful for that opportunity. And when I run, I know I have the support, the compassion, the faith of so many others carrying me through.
From now on, we are all runners.
I will take my words from December a step further. Let us “all step up together” AND let us all RUN together. Run towards a better tomorrow. Run to recover a sense of safety. Run to honor those who can’t. Run to bring joy for ourselves. RUN for LOVE.
I cannot wear a race shirt to work as so many of my friends are doing today. But I am wearing the race in my heart. A race towards happiness. A race to joy. A race to peace. A race for love.
Let us use this tragedy to bring ourselves one step closer to peace. We CAN be the change if we can be the love.
Let us take a brave step towards love today.
I will keep Boston in my prayers and love in my heart.
Let love be victorious. Today and always.
Let’s keep on running.