Yes, today we celebrate. Boston Strong! Go Red Sox! Our team, our community has risen up from defeat.
Yet, there is a somber mood today. The murder in Danvers of a bright young math teacher hangs heavy. I am finding it hard to wrap my head around it. Why? Her life was dedicated to teaching. I can't think of a more honorable profession. She had a whole lifetime ahead of her.
In the passage from 2nd Timothy, it's Paul that is speaking as he awaits his death in a Roman jail. He does not expect it to end well this time. He reflects back on his long and full life which he compares to a finished race. Paul's life was more of a marathon than a sprint, and one filled with many stops and starts, twists and turns. Like any full life, it had suffering and loss, but it also had a deep sense of purpose and was filled with beloved friends and colleagues. Just as Paul, teacher Colleen Ritzer touched many. Her life, though, was a sprint, barely begun.
No one of us knows how much time we have to live. Poet Mary Oliver reminds us we don't get a redo on life. We want to be able to look back at the end of our days whether long or short without regret. And we want to be able to look forward to what comes after death with curiosity and a sense of wonder.
In her poem, "When Death comes" she writes: ........... I want to step through the door full of curiosity, wondering:
what is it going to be like, that cottage of darkness?
And therefore I look upon everything
as a brotherhood and a sisterhood,
and I look upon time as no more than an idea,
and I consider eternity as another possibility,
and I think of each life as a flower, as common
as a field daisy, and as singular,
and each name a comfortable music in the mouth,
tending, as all music does, toward silence,
and each body a lion of courage, and something
precious to the earth.
When it's over, I want to say all my life
I was a bride married to amazement.
I was the bridegroom, taking the world into my arms.
When it's over, I don't want to wonder
if I have made of my life something particular, and real.
I don't want to find myself sighing and frightened,
or full of argument.
I don't want to end up simply having visited this world.
- Mary Oliver
Each day is a precious gift. May we spend it wisely making of our lives "something particular and real" a life lived.