I had planned to post a new recipe today. I was in the kitchen, taking photographs of pasta, when I flipped on the TV. The grave look on the newscaster’s face made me pause. Breaking news… a school shooting in Connecticut. I put down my camera and watched the unthinkable unfold. What started out as 3 dead quickly grew to 20 elementary schoolchildren and 7 adults… 1 gunman killed 26 innocent victims, their lives cut short, their future stolen in an instant.
Suddenly, cooking seemed so meaningless, so empty and unimportant. My stomach started to hurt– an achey, hollow pain. The pain is still there, hours later, as I write this blog entry. I’ve lost my appetite. I’m angry and sad. I wish there was more that I could do. I thought about my stepdaughter at school– just a normal day for her, nothing to write home about, but I couldn’t help feeling anxious. When she got home from school, a sense of relief washed over me. We are so far from Connecticut, yet so closely connected to the despair that these parents are feeling. I held her closer, hugged her tighter. I keep checking on her to make sure she’s okay.
Now the sun is starting to set. We will light the candles this evening for Shabbat, and for Hanukkah. I take comfort in this spiritual ritual. It centers and calms me in the middle of a noisy, turbulent, and often frightening world. So much pain… and yet, so much light. Life is a precious and fragile gift. To any of my readers affected by this tragedy, I wish I could hug you and hold you and tell you how very sorry I am. Nobody should have to endure this kind of pain. Our family will be praying for peace and healing as we light the candles tonight. I’ll also be observing a blogging “day of silence” on Monday in honor of the victims. Shabbat Shalom.