Thursday, September 15, 2011

The Healing Properties Of The Game

Tonight, our high school football team will take to the field and for the first time since the awful fires, people of My Town will think about something other than what has happened and what they have lost.

All day long, it was a mixed bag of emotions.  Today, access to one of the major subdivisions destroyed by the fire, was granted.  Families were going to the place they used to call home.  They came for their children and together they drove down familiar roads and stopped their vehicles where their houses once stood.  They saw all that they had now reduced to ashes and debris.  It was hard for them, I could see it in their faces.  They called it closure.  To me it seemed like much more.  The therapeutic trek to what once was, allowed them to come to terms with their new reality.  To be able to physically stand where their home once was, to see what was left and what was not, was not their closure, it was their cold shower of reality.  Perhaps it will be easier to move forward now.  I  hope so at least.

Amidst the pain of the today was the anticipation of the football game.  For the first time in two very long weeks, the students were doing what they had always done, they were getting ready for a big game.

In My Town, every football game is a big game.  This one in particular, because of what all has happened, was big. The town would show up at the big beautiful stadium and for three hours, cheer and yell and this time, the enemy wasn't a fire, it was an opposing football team.  Harmless and exciting, nothing feels more normal to My Town than high school football.

The end of the school day found the student body and all the faculty in the main gym for the pep rally.  The band, the cheerleaders, the dance team, volleyball players, cross country runners, all there to lend their voices to the mass of high school students.  It was loud and busy and very very normal.  It was as if nothing had happened.  As if homes and favorite pillows, prized collections and memories had not been lost to the fire. For a moment, everything was as it once was.  All was good.

Tonight, the half time show will be dedicated to all those firefighters, first responders and police officers that battled the beast two weeks ago.  The entire town will be there to put their hands together and show them the appreciation they so richly deserve.

And then My Town will enjoy some football.  GO BEARS!

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