Over the past week, the trash accumulated as it always does. A pile of cardboard boxes from Christmas orders. Plastic yogurt containers, gallon jugs for cereal milk. Soda cans to donate for the
five-cent bottle deposit. Peels of apples, clementines, and bananas that no longer protect the fruit inside. Coffee grounds that had been French-pressed by their morning destiny.
In my town, we carry our trash and recycling to a transfer station. In the pouring rain I ventured out, flipping the dial on the radio along the way. As a voiceover artist, I like to hear how others interpret copy. As I left the transfer station, the sports talk station was pontificating on the NHL lockout and then switched to a moment of silence at 9:30am for the victims of last Friday’s Sandy Hook shooting.
I normally think of the time between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day as a time to affirm what is important. Thanksgiving is a celebration of what we have. Christmas and Hanukkah enable us to express hope at even the darkest hour (solstice). New Year’s is a time to celebrate the future that will be.
Somewhere along the way, appreciation, celebration and hope turned to horror for that grieving community in Newtown, Connecticut. As we move on to debate gun control and access to mental health, no longer will those families hear their children playing in the next room, asking questions that maybe can’t be answered, or be awakened at 5am on Christmas morning to see what Santa has brought. They won’t get to see their children fulfill the promise of who they were so recently.
Despite acts of evil and terror, there still remains the opportunity for so much good. Witness the acts of the emergency responders, the teachers who worked to protect their students.
In that spirit, I wish you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.