In the aftermath of the atrocities in Paris last night, I am left pensive. I cannot write about books or boats or gear today because all of that feels so insignificant right now.
Since becoming a mother, I have found that my already heightened ability to feel is honed even further. I am a sensitive soul, and while this certainly serves me to connect and empathize with people, it also means I can go to pretty dark places in my own head where sadness, anger and hurt can overtake in times like these. I feel pained, saddened and terrified for what the future might hold if hatred like this prevails.
But in the end, I know it will not.
Because when catastrophes like this occur, executed by the ugliest that mankind has to offer, the rest of us come together. Race, religion, color, and creed become insignificant in times like these and we unite simply against them. We stand taller, stronger, and more proud than ever of the freedom we enjoy that threatens these monsters so - willing to do whatever we have to do to defend it and the lives we enjoy. The hate these monsters preach in the hopes of scaring and dividing us into submission ironically only serves to bring us closer and make us more united on a global level. The tragedy, of course, is the devastating loss of innocent lives that occurs in order for us to form this front. But the front is formed, and with each heinous act committed by these terrorists, we grow stronger as a collective world against them.
I feel sad for these lost, sorry souls who have nothing but poison running through their veins. Sad that they have been so devastatingly brainwashed to believe that what they are doing is right. Sad that they cannot possibly know love, joy or - God forbid - laughter. Sad for the children they bring into this world only to ruin with hate. Sad for the pure hell that must be their lives.
The world can be a scary place in the wake of terrorist attacks. And I would be lying if I didn't say that there is a part of me that fears for the future that my girls might live to see. But then I look around and I see so much humanity. So much love. So much good. It's in the tiny acts; the gentleman at the park who gently helped Haven out of a swing this morning, the sweet woman who offered to pay for my goods at the grocery store yesterday when I realized I left my wallet at home, the girl who looked into my Cadillac of a stroller to see my three girls and smiled as she said, "What blessings you have!" There is so much love in this world and too many of us enjoy being free that I know that these terrorists simply cannot, and will not, prevail.
So while I might retreat with my family to a tropical island far removed from this horrifying bullshit (excuse the vulgarity), and while a part of me will be very grateful for that fact, I will not cower in fear of terrorists. I will continue to be proud of my freedom, my way of life. And I will do my very best to raise daughters with love, empathy compassion and tolerance in their hearts, for that is the only true way forward.
Mon cœur est avec vous Paris. Solidarité.