What We Can Do About Boston

A dear friend sent me this gift from his garden in the mountains of North Carolina. It came at the perfect time, a reminder of good and of God in the world. Thank you, James.

Jim's daffodils from Highlands
James's daffodils from Highlands. Photo by James Landon, fiddled with by Frances.

In the wake of the Boston Marathon bombing, it is tempting to want to crawl under the covers and never come out again. Don’t.

It is more important than ever today, now, to be a force for good. Be a bearer of light. Be positive. Be kind. Be involved. Be engaged. Care. Pray. Act.

The child you help, the hand you lend, the charity you give to, the vote you cast may all seem small gestures, but they aren’t. Everything has a ripple effect. Everything and everyone. We don’t have to enlist or to be ordained, we can just live our lives with intention.

The courage and kindness shown by so many to those both afflicted and affected–that is, all of us–will prevail because we want it to and because we will it to.

Yes together we make a difference, but individually, we’re responsible for the difference we make. I matter. You matter.

Now let’s get out from under those covers and be lights in the darkness. Edith Wharton, who by the way did some of her best work in the bed (writing, I mean) said, “There are two ways of spreading light; to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it.” Those are pretty simple criteria. We can do that.


  1. Frances
    Thank you,thank you for these wonderful words of encouragement. Look what you have done by writing these words for your readers today!! You are a candle. xo Becky

  2. Thank you, Frances. THis is just what I needed to read after such a horrible tragedy. There is also a quote by Mr. Rogers that has been circulating. His Mother told him in times of disaster to always “look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping”. Comforting and true. Thoughts and prayers are with those impacted.

  3. Thank you from Boston.
    It began as such a perfect iconic Patriot’s Day, with our wonderful ritual of the Marathon, runners and cheering crowds stretched over the 26 miles, many more cheering from rooftops and open windows. And the Red Sox busy in Fenway Park, with another throng of fans. The logistics of these events are always daunting, usually run like clockwork. Yesterday the pageantry was punctured by some crazy hater. Next year’s Marathon will be incredible….like the fearless, enduring stamina of the American spirit.

    1. Oh Christine all our hearts go out to Boston and to you. Thank you for your words and for your defiance. Frances

  4. beautifully said – and a reminder of how fragile life is. Only yesterday we were reading and writing about Calgon and goofiness….

    1. Thank you, Linda, and you are right. We always have a choice to act. It is in believing we do not have choices that we become victims in the energetic sense.

  5. A resounding Amen! to this, Miss Frances. Most definitely, it is a ripple effect. We WILL stand, we WILL persevere, we are AMERICANS.

      1. “We always have a choice to act. It is in believing we do not have choices that we become victims in the energetic sense.” I love this, may I quote you on a post I am working on?

  6. WOW Francis…once again you have awakened my spirit…could you be the guest preacher at our church next Sunday???

  7. Beautifully said! And so true! It is up to each of us to end this stupid behavior . You are an inspiration. Thanks so much. xxoobb

  8. Thank you Frances, thank you…we who are reading your words feel the warmth of your light shining brightly. Now let’s all reflect it forward. Wonderful, wonderful post…

  9. Beautiful daffodils have always been a symbol of renewal and Spring for me here in Virginia. So ironic your friend came up from Highlands, which is where my family had a home for years and years.

    I would be happy to live by Edith Wharton’s quote: “There are two ways of spreading light; to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it” as it certainly is incredibly appropriate after the sad events of yesterday, and a reminder of the tragedy of Virginia Tech on this day in 2007.


  10. To quote Ghandi: “You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty.”

    Thank you for your eloquent words, Frances, and score one for humanity in Boston! Humanity will never be defeated!

  11. Last week reminded me that life is so fragile and so short. Do those I care about know that I love them at this moment? This feels most important to me today, and I know what I need to do, what I need to take care of.

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