It is difficult to think about the future when the crucible of the present moment is still too hot to touch. But we do know that when Newtown emerges from this awful and intense chapter of its continuing story, things will be different. The trauma of this time, the sorrow it has stitched into our hearts, and this new enduring suspicion that security is a mirage, will frame the future we construct for ourselves.
It is gratifying to know our first steps away from this painful present will be taken in honor of those we have lost: a detailed and thorough police investigation of why so many good people had to die at Sandy Hook Elementary School on December 14; an outpouring of material support for those most grievously hurt by the crime that took those lives; and tributes and memorials now under consideration or soon-to-be-proposed so that we never forget this time. This is where we need to start so that we do not keep circling back around to unresolved questions about what this tragedy means to us as a town.
All we know for sure is that this is the season when we defy the darkness with celebrations of coming birth and renewal. And with those celebrations, light creeps back into the world. While its return may be slow at first, it is as certain and as unstoppable as the sun.