Twenty feet from me, four-year-old children are giggling, sitting in a circle in a small room, waiting to find out what happens next in this new place with cartoon characters on the walls and strangers who are going to be their "reading buddies." They sit on the floor answering a question to break the ice,
"What is your favorite food?"
It's Blake's turn and he answers,
"I like everything!"
Everyone cheers for Blake!
"Donuts!" is another answer...again the kids erupt in laughter.
There is nothing but love in this room of preschoolers thrilled to be on a field trip with their friends, anxious to pick a book and listen to a story. And they have heard that maybe there's a special treat afterwards, a pair of pajamas to take with them when they leave. They are filled with anticipation. You can feel the love in that circle on the floor. You can hear it and you can see it too. It's impossible not to if you're in the room.
But then my mind turns South, to a place 1,000 miles away where hearts are breaking and people are grieving, their lives destroyed by a senseless act of hate. There was so much love in that room too, but woefully one person didn't feel it. That room was also filled with friends enjoying being together, anxious to laugh and catch up, anticipating not a story but an evening of dance and music.
Two rooms with so much in common, at the onset.
Here now, the children have started singing and I get closer to listen to the words. I have never heard the song before but they all know it by heart. Their words bring tears to my eyes. I can't get too close for fear that they will see the lady watching them is crying. These little, innocent children don't have any idea of the power of their lyrics, especially today, this week. They don't know why their little voices are so mighty on this day. Small bodies with a mammoth message, they serenade us ...
"Love is something that if you give it away, you end up having more."
It's inconceivable how anyone could be amongst so much love in a room and not become absorbed in it, swept away with it, changed by it. Love is love is love someone said. It has the power to shape and turn the course of events if we feel it and let the tears flow freely. Love is palpable and it is a gift to be given away.