I was working and hadn’t checked the news all day when I got the phone call from my husband about the explosions at the Boston Marathon. Then I saw the video and the pictures and I thought, well, this too is becoming a part of life now.
Being realistic, I know there are countries where violence of this degree is a part of daily life. Across the world in Iraq, several bombings killed at least 42, and wounded hundreds on Monday as well. Here, I suppose we can consider ourselves lucky that such tragedy is still novel.
On days like these, on the ones before and the ones sure to come, I remind myself that there are no guarantees in life. You may be killed by shrapnel as likely as you could die from cancer or get hit by a drunk driver. I remind myself that in this country the odds still favor a long life, especially if you take decent care of yourself; exercise, don’t smoke or drink, that sort of thing.
Then we have a nice family talk about what happened and take a moment to be thankful, as a family, for each other and every day that we have and our blessings. Our time may be very short and events like this remind us that we should work hard, not waste anything or any opportunity, and strive to be good citizens; help others, help our community, take care of our environment. We may wonder why something like this happens. Someone posted on Facebook yesterday, “instead of asking why, you should ask how will this make me stronger,” and that is our approach. We are lucky to have another day – what can we do with it?
Speaking of strength, runners are a very resilient bunch. 26.2 miles is an incredibly long distance to run. Many people take between three and four hours to finish. That means doing the same thing for three to four hours. You don’t stop because it hurts. You don’t stop because you’re bored. You just keep going. Someone blows up the finish line? You keep on running to the hospital to give blood. You pick up an injured person and carry them to the medical tent. Giving up is not in your vocabulary. Of all the running forums and groups I follow, not one person said they’re going to stop running. In fact, the general opinions expressed are to run faster and longer and more often. Likewise, I am not going to stop running. I’m still training for a half marathon this fall.
The running community is very diverse and includes people from every country, race, gender, age, economic status… You name it, someone in that demographic is running. Larger events like the Boston Marathon are international. This years winners were from Ethiopia and Kenya. An attack on one event is felt like an attack on the entire running community, worldwide.
… and there goes that squirrel and I’ve completely forgotten what I was going to say about running and resilience. Oh well.
I meant to post this yesterday but spent last night trying to persuade the Pumpkin to work on a report instead of playing outside with our neighbors’ kids (I let her go out). This morning, I read about the fertilizer explosion in Texas, which appears to have leveled most of a town. And then Venezuela, Syria, Korea… The list of places at peace is significantly shorty.
These certainly are dark days. We’re going to try to make sure our own inner lights are brighter to compensate.