A Long Walk, A Thousand Miles From Newtown

On Saturday Silas and I walked downtown to buy a book for his kindergarten class gift exchange.

On Friday our town had been a snow-covered Christmas-fairy-tale village. Then it rained. It rained on Friday night, and all day Saturday. The rain erased the snow and exposed the husks and straw of fall to the numb gray sky.

We bought our book and headed home through the mist. Everything was crying. We moved slowly and silently, my 37-year-old legs newly attuned to his six-year-old pace.

The cheerful Christmas music piped through Central Park’s loudspeakers sounded alien and anachronistic.

We passed the post office and the library, who face one another across Broadway. Their flags waved wearily where they had fallen, halfway to the muddy ground.

We passed my children’s school, whose flag also trailed low, heavy with its load of grief.

We passed three neighbor boys on bicycles. I smiled and said hello. They were painfully beautiful.

That was a very long walk. I am still tired from it.

2 Comments

  1. Oh my, Julia. Thanks for sharing such powerful reflections on the intersection of the natural world with all of the human craziness.
    You are still my child and the events of the week have the same effect on me as I reflect on my children in their 30’s and their children in their 1st decade.

  2. I think I felt the same way yesterday walking up to my kids’ school and ringing the buzzer to get in. It’s too bad it took something so hideous to inspire something so beautiful.

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