I counted on the normalcy of my schedule to carry me through the initial shock; the following day I had lunch with a friend as planned, then hit the gym later that afternoon. But the foreboding was still there, comfortably entrenched in the worry lines crisscrossing my forehead.
Since 9/11, I keep thinking at times like this, it’s just a matter of time till the other shoe falls. We’re all going to hell in a hand basket.
And then life blessedly intervenes; distracts with a bounty of beauty and hope and love to keep my worries at bay. And even when the beast of burdensome thoughts breaks through the calm surface of the Lake Placid on which I’ve built my hopes and dreams, the sightings are brief enough or far enough away from the shore to convince me I’m safe from the madness of a few people bent on destruction and evil. Only, the madness seems to be escalating.
The majority of us are truly not like the handful of them, those bent on evil or touched by madness, indifference or vengeance; not when the images of the carnage following the Boston bombings continually revealed the goodness of one stranger after another rushing to help the injured and comfort the frightened. Not when one marathon runner after another vowed to run the Boston Marathon again next year.
The parallels are stunning, going the distance, be it 26.2 miles or 230+ years of democracy. We’ve trained diligently, sacrificed in countless ways to prepare for this course; we’ve learned to simply put one foot in front of the other again and again and again to stay the course; we’ve come to believe in the strength of our convictions, buoyed by those with whom we share the journey, those with whom we share our precious freedom.
We are not alone; together we will mourn, together we will go the distance.