a little wordy

because words can inspire

Goodness

Michele Viner
n.  the quality of being good

You know that rule that you shouldn’t grocery shop when you’re hungry because you end up clearing out the aisles of Twinkies and Haagen Dazs?

Well, I am sure that somewhere in the blogging 101 handbook (if there is such a thing) there is a similar rule about not blogging when you are having an emotionally charged reaction to something.  

But what the hey.  Rules were made to be broken.

Yesterday my family and I saw the musical, Come From Away.  Wowza.  For anyone who has been living under a rock (haha - get it?) it is the musical account of 38 planes landing in Gander, Newfoundland in the panic of September 11, 2001.

Anyone of a certain age who lived through 9/11 knows exactly where they were on that morning.  I know I certainly do. I had just dropped my two year old daughter off for the very first time at a three morning a week daycare program.  I remember saying cheerio to Jac and then pushing one year old Emma home in the stroller.  It was a 15 minute walk, the sun was shining, the sky was blue and I was despondent.  I had separated from my baby for the first time.  It felt like the world was coming to an end.

Little did I know.

When I entered my house the phone was ringing and it was my friend, Charlene.

“Turn on your tv,” she said and hung up.  And so I did, sinking into the couch in horror.  

I also remember the days after the attack, when we were all glued to tv sets trying to make sense of all that was happening. My innocent little babies played at my feet in a world that no longer was innocent.  

“Big boom?” asked Jacqueline on one occasion when she entered the room before we had a chance to turn the channel. 

“Yes, honey,” I said back.  “Big boom, but it’s all okay.”

And so began the job of every parent in a post 9/11 world to teach our children that everything was going to, in fact, be okay.   From that day on, I started to tell my girls what I firmly and truly believed - that even though terrible things happen, there is more love in the world than hate.  That even though some people do bad things, far more people are good.  And that even though circumstances will coax you into thinking otherwise, we must always believe in goodness.

That is this week’s word.  Goodness.   

Now, 17 years after the big boom, when I find myself sitting with my husband and two daughters in a theatre in Toronto, all of those feelings come back, and I am overwhelmed as the story unfolds.  

Here it is on stage for all to see.  For the thousands of people from all over the world who were literally pulled from the sky and grounded, Gander became a temporary home.    Through the telling of this story, while using humour, dance, song, incredible stage direction and choreography, and a few hits of screech, we see first hand that an entire community swooped in to embrace them.

We see that clothing, food, shelter, companionship, support and friendship is extended in a way we can’t imagine.

We see that a community becomes transformed, and in the matter of just five days, people from other cultures and locales become honourary Newfoundlanders for life.

And we see that even though terrible things happen, there is more love in the world than hate.  That even though some people do bad things, far more people are good.  And that even though circumstances will coax you into thinking otherwise, we must always believe in goodness.

And in the end, we do a jig.