It’s a somber atmosphere around me today.
I’m in Southern France, and last night while the country was celebrating a national holiday I was part of the outdoor crowds, revelling in the general joie de vivre in the air. This morning I woke to the news that in the nearby city of Nice a deliberate attack killed 84 people, families out celebrating Bastille Day. I cried as I read the news this morning, where I also saw the story of a missing girl in my home city ended in the tragic discovery of her body and murder charges pending. My heart hurts.
Attack in Nice
It’s difficult to know how to transition when so much could be said on these devestating acts of violence. But today I’ll take my cue from the people I see around me who fill the plaza on this sunny day: continue on, but be aware. The cafes lining the plaza are crowded with people, white-shirted waiters bustling their trays back and forth and a street musician quietly strumming a guitar from time to time, but I also see soldiers unobtrusively patrolling the streets. The sense I get isn’t one of head-in-the-sand “I won’t look so the bad can’t bother me” nor is it one of abject devestation but rather a reminder that life is precious and unpredictable, and maybe the best we can do right now is to go on with our days showing a little more love to the people around us. Just a moment ago right in front of me, a family walked by and for no reason visible to me the father stopped to bend down and kiss the top of his young daughter’s head. It was only a split second and they were moving past again, but it brought tears to my eyes for the second time today.