Yet here we are, on the heels of that glorious spring, experiencing a brutal beginning to summer. The brutality is mirrored in horrific moments in my country. A beautiful, talented young woman was murdered in the state of Florida, in a senseless act as she pursued her musical dreams.
A day later, in the same state of Florida, a nightmare attack took the lives of 49 people who were enjoying an evening in a nightclub. 49 deaths are reported, and I fear the number will increase in coming days.
The thoughts that run through my mind in the wake of these violent actions are tangible, etching the moist air around me with ragged edges. They hang there, aloft, sad and forlorn, as I picture the people who await news of their loved ones....praying, I am certain, to hear that loved one's voice, alive and vital.
Yet we already know the ones slain are still there in that nightclub, quiet and still, surrounded by crime scene tape and endless media trucks.
Moments of beauty are flourishing, small blooms of hope around the world. There in Florida, a line of over 600 people wait to donate blood and I think that they are the best of my country, rushing to do this one small thing in the face of such devastating carnage.
The people in that nightclub were slain, to the best of what we know, because they were of the LGBTQ community - different, beautifully so, and proud, choosing to embrace their true selves and come together for an evening of music, dancing and entertainment. Hateful indications began instantly, words of terrorism, focus on gun control political agendas all ran rampant and continue today, and those focuses will have no further space here.
Now, as the hours roll forward, on social media there are countless expressions of condolence, sympathy and support for those affected, for those slain, for those mourning, and these expressions are happening around the world. Rainbow flags are everywhere.
And here I sit on the steps of my patio with my laptop on my knees, breathing in this heavy, damp day, the heat searing my lungs.
The thoughts crash from my fingertips, yet make no sound on the page. I feel the need to hurl them outward, allowing them to fly high in the sky and fracture, so that they might rain back down in bright, beautiful colors of each of the souls taken from us so unfairly.
Rainbow colors, they would be. Of course they would.
Perhaps in another reality, one we can't see with our human eyes, they are hale and whole, watching us as we scramble to understand, to absorb and accept. I believe this to be true, and I am confident and sure that the overwhelming amount of prayer and love being focused for all of them has taken them through their unexpected transition swiftly and smoothly, lifting them quickly to that next destination.
My own recent struggles pale in comparison to what has happened in Florida. I feel a sense of drift and inadequacy, because those issues exist and are quite valid in my heart, but I haven't lost a loved one to wrenching, cold, cruel murder. All I am able to do is sit here in the waning summer fire of a June Sunday, smelling the green of freshly cut grass, hearing the droning of fat honeybees drunk on nectar from nearby flowers. I am here, writing and pausing, sheltering my eyes from the sinking sun, tapping out words on a screen that cannot reflect the enormity of what this weekend has wrought.
Rainbows. Normally, a rainbow comes after a storm, bringing smiles and delight.
Today, rainbows drip endless tears.
And the world mourns.