Reflections on Patriot's Day
This morning was definitely one of those mornings when I felt like I was waking up from a bad dream. How could this morning be so bright and sunny when yesterday had happened?
Yesterday's bombings hit a little bit close to home. Since I haven't been able to concentrate on work, maybe some written reflection will help. I know this isn't food, but I just feel like I need to reflect.
I do not consider myself a Bostonian. I've never lived in Boston or any of its suburbs. Nor do I identify much with living in Boston. I've always lived in more rural areas, not the city.
However, what I do know is that my heart is in many ways tied to Boston. Before yesterday, I hadn't really thought of how many close friends NES and I have who live and work in Boston. Then add in that many of my college friends and acquaintances work in Boston, plus the fact that the half of my high school that didn't go to one of the UMASSes went to college in Boston or live/work there now. I know a lot of people there. Then there was the fact that there were several people from my hometown(s) running, and their families were watching. I was pretty jarred when I found out about the explosions. Thank goodness Facebook told me within several minutes that most of them were safe.
And then there is the fact that NES and I often go into Boston with no second thought. Often down that very street. It will be very emotional to go there again.
My radio stations come from Boston. Our TV stations come from Boston. My sports team is from Boston. Many things in my life revolve around Boston.
I had never considered Massachusetts one of my communities before. I consider myself a part of many communities: my university, my college, my church, my current hometown, my former hometown(s), etc. But a state is far too big to be a community, isn't it?
Being out of state (at school/work) yesterday when this happened, I realized it is not. I always feel a little out of the loop on Patriot's Day, since the state I work in does not celebrate it. But when we were talking about what happened yesterday at school, I realized that, being from Massachusetts, I had different feelings and connections. Something I felt like I shared with many Massachusetts-ians. That is not to say people at school were not affected; I am certain many were, and more so than I. It was just a feeling.
So coming out of yesterday, I know that I will always remember exactly where I was. I also realized that I have so much to be thankful for.
I am so thankful all my friends and family are safe. I am thankful for this new community I've found. I am thankful for all the police, firefighters and other people who responded. I am thankful for all the other people who dropped everything to help. And I am thankful for all the hospitals in Boston, amongst many other things.
On nights like last night, I tend to easily get lost in my thoughts. After NES, JK and I got dinner last night, we were walking home, and I noticed the sunset and the flowering trees. They were so beautiful. I wondered to myself how it was possible they were so beautiful in a world so marred.
But then I realized what I was most thankful for. I was thankful for a God who is in control. Although we can question why he lets things like this happen, we can't question that he is bigger than this. That's why the sunset was still so beautiful last night. That's why the tree could still flower. And that's why today dawned bright and beautiful. And that's how I can have hope in such a scary and ugly world.