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January 12, 2010

“Bright Light and Shadows” © R.L. Herron

Just when you think you have things all figured out and your resolutions for the new year are made, something comes along that makes you re-think everything. Not just the resolutions, which are almost always made half in jest each year. But everything.

Yesterday morning was one of those ‘somethings’ here. Three young schoolgirls, all 14 years old and freshmen at a local high school, were killed in an auto accident on the way to school. They were less than a mile from my house.

No one was speeding. No one was drunk. No one was really at fault. The car in which they were riding, doing much less than the speed limit, just hit a patch of glare ice on a curve and careened into the path of a large SUV.

No more algebra tests. No more giggling over the cute boys. No whispers and laughter of any kind. Only silence, and the crunch of ice under the ambulance driver’s feet. All three girls were declared DOA at the local hospital.

Sobering reality, so close to home.

I didn’t know any of them, but I feel the loss. Not in the sense of what their poor parents and relatives are going through. But in knowing that all that potential, all that young optimism, is gone.

Bright light, like the sunlight in the picture above, always has a shadow. If we are fortunate, we don’t ever have to look that closely or that often into those dark places.

New Year’s Resolutions

January 3, 2010

“Sunset” © R.L. Herron

It’s the beginning of a new year. A time to reflect and give thanks for family and friends, and make promises to do things to create a better world, if only for ourselves.

Like always, I’ve eagerly joined the rush to create a list of resolutions in celebration of it. I resolve to:

1. Lose Weight. Seems I always have this on the list, every year, so I can’t be doing too well with it.

2. Be a Better Husband, Father and Grandfather. This always seems to appear, too. And I’m too worried about the answer to ask my wife and kids how I’m doing.

3. Make New Friends. I always want to, but invariably seem to spend all my free time just hanging on to the ones I have.

4. Take More Pictures. This one appears a lot too, and it’s one of the few I actually do something about. Trouble is, I’ve never done enough. For instance, if you think about it, I should have used a sunrise picture for this post. New dawn, and all that.

But that would have meant getting up long before sunrise to get ready, and I’m not much of a morning person. Maybe I should just change the picture title to “Sunrise.” Who’d know?

5. Write More. I’ve actually started doing this – just not consistently and, so far, not enough of it is for assignments that pay. I don’t even write in this blog as often as I should.

6. Make More Effective Use of Time. This one has also appeared on my list before, and I know I’ve been a dismal failure at it. If I had really been more effective, certainly with this year’s list, I would simply have told people to see last year’s list.

As we begin this new year, allow me to wish each of you the best of all things. May your life be blessed with love, joy and, above all else, imagination.

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