September 12, 2013 § 2 Comments
Tragedy has a tendency to inspire passionate reaffirmations of consciousness. We honor loss with statements of gratitude and pledge to hold difficult remembrances alongside joy to keep ourselves accountable for the truth of tragedy. Anniversaries of loss are often haloed by memorials and gestures of shared grief, but what of the day after?
Public tragedy and personal heartache, calendar dates darkened by grief remind us to gather loved ones close, to speak kindly, forgive our neighbors, and extend a hand of friendship to a stranger. We shuffle our priorities to align with our ideals, then move slowly into the busyness of tomorrow our minds once again preoccupied by details that distort our commitments to one another and ourselves.
Yesterday I imagined husbands and wives, parents and children whose lives were orphaned by tragedy. I moved through my day cognizant that without warning we can wake to an experience empty of familiarity and the comfort of routine; my own good fortune measured in gifts of kindness as my husband and children, family and friends attempted to ward off the shadow of loss with a celebration of life. My birthday an intimate reminder of the blessing of time.
Today I woke mindful of the little things, details otherwise overlooked were swollen with sentiment. The smell of paint drying as my husband finishes up bookshelves for our daughter’s room, the cluttered countertops that signal a meal shared before starting our day, the sleepy conversations between home and school when side by side we have nowhere else to be but in between destinations together.
Perhaps to live consciously we have neither to trade mundane moments for extravagant exercises in living nor set aside our plans for tomorrow to dwell in remembrances. Maybe to honor yesterday we have only to be present in little moments that nurture our spirit and enrich the lives of those around us with small acts of love and kindness; today and tomorrow.