Like so many, I am feeling heavy hearted and find myself crying unexpectedly as I think of the tragedy and trauma caused by the Sydney siege.
I'm dedicating today's post to Katrina Dawson and Tori Johnson, to their families and to all affected by the senseless and devastating actions of one person.
In The Australian newspaper today, Governor - General Peter Cosgrove's words resonated with me:
'We must unite in our resolve to protect what we value most -
our way of life, our care and respect for each other.
Now is the time for unity.'
It is also time for compassion and kindness.
It is easy to feel a sense of hopelessness and to feel like you want to do something with the overwhelming sadness and not know what.
There is something we can all do.
Dig deeper and be kinder and more compassionate to those in your community. Smile from your heart at people you pass on the street, ask people how they are and genuinely care about what they say.
This time of year can be hard enough as it brings into focus where our relationships are at, who we will spend time with, who we miss, those relationships we wish were better or different.
Hold your loved ones close and those you know who are doing it tough invite them in, your neighbour, families in your school community, it is time to care for each other.
And hold on to hope. I know it can feel futile or trite but there is strength to be found in hope.
It is there for us all to keep believing in all that is good about humanity.
Reading the accounts of Katrina and Tori's lives it is abundantly clear that they lived with passion and integrity, they considered and cared for others until the very last moments of their lives.
Regrettably we can't change what happened in Sydney but we can choose how we move forward and in doing so with care, we can go some small way to honour the loss of Katrina and Tori and indeed the senseless loss of life that occurs everyday across our world.
Emily Dickinson puts it eloquently in her poem:
"Hope" is the things with feathers on
That perches in the soul
And sings the tunes without the words
And never stops at all,
And sweetest in the gale is heard;
And sore must be the storm
That could abash the bird
That kept so many warm.
I've heard it in the chillest land
And on the strangest Sea
Yet never in Extremity,
It asked - a crumb of me.
Amidst the busyness of December, go gently friends x