Tuesday I was running in below-freezing wind chill across the Nahant Causeway. Wednesday I was running in brilliant, warm sunshine in Cold Spring Park in Newton. If anything, it proves the adage that if you don’t like the weather in New England, wait ten minutes.
It’s an old saying, but the message is timeless. Things can change in an instant, for better or for worse, so to a certain extent it’s relatively worthless to expect that you can actually predict anything.
I’ve got nothing remarkable to add to regarding the horrific events of Marathon Monday or last Friday in Watertown. Needless to say I’ll never forget those events, and my oldest son now has his first memory of something truly terrible. No doubt he will remember last week the same way I remember the Challenger disaster or the Chernobyl meltdown, as a first taste of real tragedy.
His questions and fears in the aftermath of the explosions and the manhunt are ones you would expect from a child. Why did they do that? Who died? Should we be afraid? Should we be scared? The death of 8-year old Martin Richard was particularly difficult for him to come to grips with.
The Jewish tradition has long grappled with the paradoxes that life provides us with. As Ecclesiastes wrote, sometimes the righteous are repaid like scoundrels, and sometimes scoundrels are repaid like the righteous. There is seemingly no rhyme or reason to why terrible things happen to good people.
In the face of this futility we have two choices- to throw our hands up in dismay, or to celebrate the lives we do have and make the most of each day, while always keeping the memories of what we witnessed and of all the victims in our hearts and minds.
So let’s do just that.
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