I remember Sandy Hook. It was the morning of December 14th, 2012. I woke from a fitful, awful, disturbing dream unlike anything I’d ever experienced before. A gunman shooting cats, blood everywhere, sickening, and the phrase pounding “slaughter of innocents.” I noted the time on the alarm clock and tried to dismiss the dream as turned to daily chores. Later I’d learn that my dream occurred when the first 911 calls were coming in on the shooter at Sandy Hook.
One, two, skip a few… ninety-nine, one hundred. Sunday morning, May 22, 2022, we readied ourselves for our first major road trip marking an end to Covid and our new dedication to travel again. My husband and I had a trip planned to the Four Corners region of Colorado. I left the kitchen to see to some last-minute details when suddenly, my husband let out a god-awful gasp.
“What?” I called from the next room.
“Don’t come in here!” His tone was firm. “The hawk has the baby bunny.”
My heart sank. The both of us had watched two, tiny bunnies in our yard for the past couple of weeks. Even showing them to the grandkids. (Damn redtails! I hate when they hunt in our yard. I do my best to feed the squirrels where they have cover but what can you do for bunnies?)
The morning felt off, being marked by death. Later in the car, my husband remarked on how he thought the bunny had been safe so near the lilac bush but that the hawk had come from behind and swooped down on him.
The drive toward Mesa Verde took us into part of Colorado that neither of us had ever seen. My husband spotted the first dead deer on the side of the road. More followed. I started to point out my own roadkill. Why so many? If I’d known there’d be so many, I would have paid attention and actually counted but surely it approached a dozen. I’ve been on lots of road trips, but I’d never seen so much death. I commented that death seems to be with us (my husband’s (fairly) accustomed to my sunny humor after all these years, but he didn’t respond). I felt unsettled at the sheer clobbering message of death we were getting but as is often the case, what can you do with insufficient knowledge?
Dreams, premonitions, omens. Being out of news media range at the National Park where we had no TV in the room, it wasn’t until the day after the Uvalde shooting that the details started to emerge for us. Honestly, I didn’t want to hear about the carnage. BUT— here we are again. THE SLAUGHTER OF INNOCENTS!!
When we returned home, I spent a few days doing my civic duty. Writing my Senators, making donations to groups for gun control, lobbying for an assault weapons ban, sharing posts about upcoming marches. I watched Facebook (with my liberal friends, mostly) post some obligatory responses and then within a week put their heads down and give up. In a community of people who (I think) regard themselves as “spiritual,” I watched my postings be ignored. Many “friends” took absolutely no stand, as if being spiritual elevates them so high they can’t deign to come to earth to take a stand for the weak, the young, the vulnerable. I’m ashamed of them.
I understand frustration! I’m frustrated, too. I don’t like that the Senate is highly unlikely to pass anything that will prevent another Uvalde! I do get that! But what’s the alternative as an individual? Do nothing? (Well, apparently!) I also wonder about individuals who remain silent because they don’t want to ruffle feathers because it might cause conflict on FB and other social media. Pretty weak, huh? But it’s there. It’s also there with those who have clients on different sides of the political spectrum and hey money (MY money, that’s more important than kids…I guess).
My bottom line for this rant is that if you are spiritual (in any way, shape, or form), you don’t get to sit it out. Nope! THAT IS YOUR FREAKIN’ CALL!! From that place of spirit, you are called to act. To protect the weak, the vulnerable, the young, the old.