A year after the shooting spree that killed five beloved people, wounded several more and left us grieving and grasping for hope, the city of Tucson came together on Jan. 7th for times of commemorating, celebrating, and committing to life, health and community. It began at sunrise at the TMC Labyrinth at Peppi’s House. The mother drum called us together, constantly beating the pulse of life and invitation. Singing bowls sang the dawn of a new day. Rev. Amy Barron-Gafford, TMC Hospice Chaplain, welcomed people bundled in coats and blankets and read the poem (see below) at intervals during the dancing. Men and women dressed in white with sashes of color danced hope, perserverance, beauty, gratitude, joy and the strength of community. Those who gathered before the sun rose over the Rincons (including Pam Simon, Gabby’s staffer who was shot and her daughter Summer) entered the beat with egg shakers, shaking them to the pulse, double time, triple time or however the spirit led. Three speakers, including Ross Zimmermann (Gabe’s dad) and Ron Barber, one of Gabby’s staff members who was shot last January, gave voice to commemorate, celebrate and commit. Later, Sinde Rubiner, facilitator of the artists, led us in creating a symphony with colorful boom whackers. Each section of people had a different color, a different rhythm to maintain, reminding us all of the mulititude of gifts we bring to our beloved community and one another.
May we remember that each day is a gift from the Holy One to be shared and treasured, to be lived with passion and purpose.
As heart speaks to heart
Calling us to live fully
Calling us to the center:
The rich, fertile place
Of reflection and renewal,
Of being filled with purpose and passion.
Shed the hold of grief, anger, apathy
Pray gratitude each step of the journey
Remembering the ones who alter our souls in beautiful ways.
The fresh breath of hope
Wisdom’s guiding power
Voice and abilities unique to you
And the gift of community.
Renewed energies to heal this hurting world.
Walk, run, share, pray, teach, advocate
Embrace the giving path.
©December 5, 2011 Cynthia Langston Kirk
For January 7, 2012 Beyond Event