This curbside memorial, in all its exuberant chaos of blossoms, balloons, toys and statuettes, represents for me the awakening of the sacred in space, just as the church bell represents the emergence of the sacred in time.
This is where it happened, where two lives were prematurely cut off. And this is where the community began the healing, to celebrate the lost lives as far as they had journeyed, and to comfort the lives that continue by covering the space with symbols to honor the completion of those two lives, which while premature by our reckoning, were nevertheless, complete and in the light of heaven, whole.
For we are responsible for bringing order into our personal and community environments, and in the face of events for which we never seem prepared, to transform ordinary places into sacred sites that serve as passageways into the deeper significance of life beyond our control.
And so we teach our children to respect the rules and maintain orderliness, while using the lessons of disasters—of both natural and human origin—to manifest compassion where human expectation and intention fall short.


This article is cross-posted from a Photo Voice project answering the question, “What assets does the community bring to education and learning?” See the photos and stories of the youth, as individuals and teams, on the full site, SE Seattle FreedomNet.