|Photo by Tom Benitez via Orlando Sentinel|
(On Fridays I join with a community of writers that encourage one another. I write to process my week, discover what I really believe and to tell stories. Join us here.)
Things have normalized by now. It's been a week and a half. The details are foggy. What we know for sure is that in the midst of stray bullets, a girl lost her life.
And just days later we sat across the street from the crime seen on a porch that is very much ours. You can finds us there most Wednesdays and several other nights each week. The tension of random violence coming so close to home and a makeshift shrine outside the doors of a dance club is palpable.
But a local ice cream truck pulls in front of the shrine, either not knowing or not caring. And our view is blocked. And suddenly fifty-somethings, and twenty-somethings, and thirty-somethings become children again for a few short minutes.
I reach for my cone: always vanilla with chocolate sprinkles. And we're all grins from ear to ear. You can't help but smile with an ice cream cone in hand. Suddenly we're all children again. And we remember that the world does have some good left in it. In the midst of shootings, and Ferguson and our country's unrequited battle with mental illness, we have a bit of respite.
On this hot summer night both tragedy and ice cream cones are unifiers. And God reminds us that we need both. The bitter and the sweet.