Thursday, February 14, 2013
Two months ago today in Newtown, CT
But today is Valentine's Day and I want to tell you a story: a few weeks ago, one of my little granddaughters came to me as I was sitting at the computer. She asked: "Maminou, what's your talent?" I was taken aback at first, then I remembered that the girls had just watched (and watched and watched) The Secret of the Wings, a Disney fairy movie where everyone has a talent waiting to be discovered. I thought for a minute, then recalling that when we meet after a long separation the first thing she asks is always "Did you bring us bread?", I said: "Bread!" She nodded, satisfied.
Then I asked: "And what's your talent?" She was quiet for a while, then she replied with a shy smile: "Loving! I think my talent is for loving..." I held her close. She didn't say anything for a while, then she looked directly into my eyes: "Do I have to love the bad guy who came into the school?" I told her she didn't and she looked relieved, as if something tight had just unwound inside her.
Love as a talent. I never thought of it that way but it makes sense. A gift that lies dormant at birth and needs to be awakened and nurtured.
Love as a choice. Some of us place themselves deliberately outside the circles. They cannot be trusted with love. Maybe because their talent was never discovered. Maybe because they never had it in the first place. I don't know. But I like it that my little granddaughter is already working on setting boundaries for herself.
Two months ago today in Newtown, CT, a shooter chose to rob twenty-six innocents of their lives and to tear them away from their loved ones. These flowers are for the victims and for the survivors. For all of us who choose love. For all of us who understand, like my granddaughter, that not loving doesn't mean hating. That there is another way...