Gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.
~ GK Chesterton

Friday, November 20, 2015


Always one to need time to process things before I can share, I haven’t yet put anything on the blog about the terrorist attack in France. So, a week on, my reflections. My pebble into the vast sea.

Like most people, I was heartbroken as I followed the news updates last Friday night. So much has been written in the last week. Emotions are so varied, but that is not surprising: anger, hope, frustration, forgiveness, bitterness, healing, revenge, sadness, determination to carry on.

I’ve been considering my personal connections with France. There are so many things I admire about the French culture, from architecture to French films to food. The loveliest music I have ever heard in a church (or anywhere, perhaps) was in the church at the top of Mont St. Michel. I have loved the French language for most of my life. And some of my favorite Saints were French, not just the French Carmelites, either!

In considering France, and the French, it occurred to me that I have the perfect icon, as I am praying for every soul involved.

Sand from Utah Beach.

We visited the World War II sites in Normandy for the history. I stood in the same spots that had seen such horror, fewer than thirty years before I was born. And yet, time pressed on. Healing happened. Yes, new generations have come along with new sets of problems, but such is the way of the world. Rather than dwell on the as-yet-unknown horrors that humanity still has left to face, I take comfort that people continue to defy the scary things by Getting On With Life. Anything could go wrong, but we still fall in love, and write books, and have babies, and build where things have been destroyed, and laugh, and plant gardens, and learn new hobbies, and start new careers, and  . . .

I have a bit of physical France with me. 

My relic to the past . . . my tenacious hope for the future.

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