Every year starts so new, innocent in its infancy.  Hope is re-imagined and burns a fresh.  Eyes squinting  and set on brighter horizons, we step foot, boldly, on our next journey around the sun. But like a child, the year must grow. Through happiness and hardships, lessons are learned.  In January of 2012, we could not foresee those bright moments, or the darker ones ahead. We knew that evil lurked around corners,  but could not imagine the form it would take, or just how treacherous those moors and cliffs could be.  Whether it be in naivety, or a conscious choice, we ignored the softly whispered warnings, and signs were left unread. We pushed through at a constant cadence, fists clenched, survival mode.

Had we slowed down, quieted our own thoughts long enough, we may have seen the pain and fear around us. We may have heard our intuition, softly breathing beneath our screaming instincts, and seen when someone was slipping. Had we reached out our hand in assistance, in love,  what could we have accomplished? What could we have avoided?

The tragedies of 2012 are, and should continue to  be mourned. In this new year,  we can choose to move on and forget; or we can refuse to let it all be in vain. Respectfully remember, and turn these  horrific incidents into an opportunity to accept the sorrow and loss, and rise.  For it is only in the smoke and rubble of death and destruction that we are able to rebuild on a new, stronger foundation. Our sleeping hearts are awakened, and we synthesize the poisonous effects of evil into good; into love.  Something the citizens of this country have already proven throughout history to be exceptional at.

In the past few months, we have been given the bitter-sweet gift of awareness. Our eyes have been ripped open, and we are all left clinging to our children and our loved ones. What we do with this gift from this very second on, is up to us. We can put armed guards in schools, we can argue about gun rights in forums and sign petitions. All of which may be good and right. But what if instead of pointing fingers and spreading paranoia, we rip the evil from our communities by its roots. We re-mold it at  the source. The source is not violence in the media, it’s not guns, and it’s not rap music. If this were the case, virtually every child growing up in the US would be a violent criminal.  It starts with someone feeling alone and desperate running on an empty heart. Someone starting to slip and fall down the path of life.

Whether we like it or not, as a human race, we are all in this journey together. Wandering through time, fighting to survive another day. Lets all slow down and not just look, but actually see. Instead of seeking endlessly for love, lets redirect that energy to selflessly giving it. Reaching our hands out to catch each other, and moving forward… as one.


© Packing Pretty, Grace McKee 2013.