There are a couple of things I love about blogging. One is that it gets me writing on a regular basis. Another is the positive feedback I get from readers that makes posting feel worthwhile. One of the greatest is that it gives me a chance to thoughtfully consider the direction my life is taking each day and to see something greater at work in it.
I haven’t been posting as much lately, because there hasn’t been as much time for reflecting in the good kind of busyness in which we’re entrenched. Last week, though, kind of forced me into it.
I went to Boston College, which is right along the marathon route at Heartbreak Hill. John proposed during the Boston Marathon. A lot of people I love very much still live there.
After Monday, I texted a friend, “It’s hard to believe from so far away.”
She wrote back, “It’s hard to believe from six miles away.”
On Thursday, another friend who lives in Cambridge came to visit. Thank goodness she did, or she would have been stuck in her apartment alone all day Friday. We spent the day in disbelief. How had two men shut down a whole city?
My friend and I went to church together in the morning, and I thought about how, if we were in Boston, we wouldn’t have been able to do that. In the afternoon, I saw our mail carrier deliver our mail. In Boston, that wasn’t happening (as far as I know).
We went out for a run later—who am I?!—and honestly, I was kind of scared to go outside, to run around a big park in a major city. We didn’t know the bombers’ motives. What if there were more?
I told myself I was overreacting. New York City had not posted any orders to stay inside; who was I to impose them on us? The bombers had taken enough away from enough people already—their lives, their freedom, their feelings of safety. I didn’t want to give in to the fear growing in me.
So out we went, instantly struck by people being outside here in Brooklyn. We’d seen photos of Inman Square and other usually densely populated places in Boston. Brooklyn held a stark contrast.
We got to the park and started our run, my friend, a more confident runner, pushing the stroller carrying Henry and Jacob. Every time I go out, I push myself a little farther. This time without the stroller, I pushed myself a whole lot farther—all the way around the park. With Alex by my side—“I’ll keep going as long as you keep going”—I inadvertently achieved one of my goals for the year. I ran a 5K . . . and then some.
It wasn’t at an official race. I only have three witnesses, including the kids, but I conquered something that day. And it felt like it stretched a good deal farther than the three miles around Prospect Park.
Love and Fear
There are only two feelings. Love and fear.
There are only two languages. Love and fear.
There are only two activities. Love and fear.
There are only two motives, two procedures, two frameworks,
two results. Love and fear.
Love and fear.
—from “A Common Prayer” by Leunig