behind the cancer center, there is a garden, where i go on breaks during the training. we are learning to put communities back together---restorative justice---after something tragic has occurred.
an older gentleman sits small, in the spacious lobby, concerned, "what time the doctor will see me today?"
we watch a video of six college students that burned down a wood bridge, hundreds of years old, in their town. it was late, they had been out, they were not thinking, gasoline spilling between the cracks as they lit the match. firemen tried to save it, all that was left was cinders bobbing in the creek.
a white clad nurse kneels, next to the old man, comforting him, as he gazes out the window.
people were angry, regardless of their age...who would do this? who would do this? letters to the editor screamed for justice from the page, lock them away, lock them away. punish them for what they have done.
through the glass doors, the garden waits, some couples sit in rocking chairs, by a stream burbling down rocks and waterfalls, built between trees, finding serenity for where they find themselves; some sick, others there to care.
they brought the boys together with the town to hear the emotions, to hear their stories on what that bridge meant to them, how they were feeling and the victims got to speak their peace, and hear the shame crawl across the boys faces. pain got a voice, beyond the evidence.
questions sit heavy on the shoulders of the families as they rock and i stand under the same sun with them and wish i could give them a voice as well. as they did to those hurt by the bridge burning, give them justice. i wish i could help them find answers to bring their communities back together, as they did with the six boys in the video.
where is justice in a disease, that kills indiscriminately?
there are stories to tell, there are stories to hear, and emotions that can not be mopped up, but felt. in this we can be a community, when we do not have the answers.
my break is over and they are waving me back in...