While walking to work I couldn’t help but notice the campus grounds empty. This morning the skies were gray, but the temperature felt warm for an Ohio winter. It would be easy to just dig my head into my walk and not pay attention to the calm of campus, the bare trees; the quiet lonely hum. On any given day it might be easy to ignore the laughter I heard rumbling across the street. But today, it wasn’t that easy.
In the distance, there were children, the echoing laughter, a small bubbling crowd of puffy purple, pink, orange, and blue coats, the bounce and awkward sway of tiny legs and feet wandering through tunnels and buildings, in and around the tall trees. I stopped for a moment to listen, as the tears in my eyes began to form and fall at the sound of those children, their joy, laughter, and excitement. I grabbed a tissue to wipe the corners of my eyes, and imagined the floods of sadness still pooling in Newtown, Connecticut. In the depth of this tragedy, such pain, I was so pleased to hear this morning sound like children, like hope.