Written By: Shannon Traphagen/writer/novelist
Nothing is impossible, nothing is destroyed; it just changes.
A tornado rips through the “Alley” and its contents, changing the form, but we remain the same. Strength, inner beauty, the human spirit, and love for one another, this is what shines through. It does not change because a house has fallen, or a soul is lost. The steep climb is what strengthens us. It may scare us- but as we have proven time and time again, we have each other’s backs.
Fables have long told of the human spirit and the will to survive. Gentility and warmth make us stronger; not destruction and force. A battle between two of the strongest forces in the universe- the sun and the wind; Aesop’s fable is a reminder of the peaceful strength in each of us:
“The wind and the sun argued one day over which one was the stronger. Spotting a man traveling on the road, they sported a challenge to see which one could remove the coat from the man’s back the quickest.
The wind began. He blew strong gusts of air, so strong that the man could barely walk against them. But the man clutched his coat tight against him. The wind blew harder and longer, and the harder the wind blew, the tighter the man held his coat against him. The wind blew until he was exhausted, but he could not remove the coat from the man’s back.
It was now the sun’s turn. He gently sent his beams upon the traveler. The sun did very little, but quietly shone upon his head and back until the man became so warm that he took off his coat and headed for the nearest shade tree.”
It is not in mass destruction, or of brute force that wars are won, land is claimed, or ideology is heard. It is in those that rise together and stand tall in the warmth of the sun. Those that say “I will not cower”, “I will not run”. Those that lock hands, building a fortress of hope, strength and love; banned together by brothers and sisters, neighbors and loved ones, strangers who care. Hatred never wins, evil never wins; we will continue to lock hands and rise up to the threat. All across the world people have shown they are with us; they are with you. Strangers from distant lands, newspapers from other countries, baseball stadiums, soldiers who’ve already seen too much, the rich, the poor, and the politicians from both sides of the aisle; all have come together to say “we have your back”! No matter the disagreements tomorrow, today we unite.
The eight year old we’ve lost, and the father who still waits for the recovery of his wife and child- we are with you.
The 29 year working girl from Medford Massachusetts and the family that’s grieving- we are with you.
The Chinese foreign exchange student whose family is overseas- we are with you.
To all those that sustained serious injury from this attack- we are with you.
This moment can be whatever we decide to make it. I will make it about a swelling of pride and love for all those affected, and all those who locked hands to help. I may not know you, but I am with you!