Life changed a bit today. For me and for everyone around me here in Ottawa. There was an attack here, in Canada’s capital city, a shooting at our Parliament Hill. One soldier was killed and the gunman managed to make it right into our government’s Peace Tower before being taken out. Government buildings and schools were locked down, and police and first responders swept the streets.
It’s the kind of thing I never imagined we would ever see here, in our calm city with friendly, welcoming faces; where I wouldn’t hesitate to ask for directions or walk alone night. This is a serene place, one that can even border on the mundane.
I don’t want to give into fear and paranoia. I want to believe that ours is a city of kind people who would help each other, and band together. I don’t want to think that our neighbours and friends could be people with ill intentions and guns hiding away in the closets of their minds. I want this to be a safe city for my son to grow up in and I believe that it will be again.
Even with the penchant of late to deliver horrible news in a graphic, breathless fashion, I’ve been following along online with my favourite local station, where the news is updated in a careful, thoughtful manner, rather than creating ill-conceived headlines written to strike terror. I’m glad about that. I’m not trying to disparage or brush aside what happened today. A soldier with a family who loved him was gunned down. Some were injured, and many others were thrown into panic by the sound of gunfire and emergency sirens.
This is not something we’ve seen here before and I just hope and pray it is not something we see again.An in-depth assessment or the situation, and more security measures may need to be taken, and my hope is that this is something we can do in a deliberate, intelligent manner.
After my son’s nap today, we laid down on my bed for a moment. Him still sleepy, and snuggled in close, fitting right to my body with his silky hair right under my chin. I sang a bit, and he nestled there, then looked up into my face with a funny little grin. I want this world that he will know to be a good one.
I’m gazing out the window now, quietly, watching the birds soar past. So sure of what they are doing and where they are going, uninterrupted in their path of flight. The sky is clear and blue; the trees outside still filled with specks of shifting green-yellow-red brilliance, and I breathe, feeling the remnants of uneasiness. Things are ok, and for that I am lucky.