I had intended to write about water today, since it’s World Water Day. Water is, of course, at the root of hockey, from the ice that’s skated on, the thirst-quenching fluids drank throughout the game and the showers taken after a practice or game.
But I, like so many others, woke up to the news of the bombings that had taken place in Brussels and I felt gutted once again, like I felt with the Paris attack four months ago, and like I did with Charlie Hebdo before that. I have lived in Europe, I have even lived in Belgium. I know that airport in Zaventem, it was my destination airport when my infant son Alexander and I made the move from Canada to join my husband who was already there some 27 years ago. I loved that country, the care the people took of their homes, of themselves, even the care they took in the food they prepared. I remember chopping vegetables with a Flemish friend once for a salad.
“Chop everything into small pieces,” she suggested. “Everything tastes better if you slice it fine.” I’ve tried incorporating that into my clumsy Canadian cuisine ever since.
As I went from staring at the TV to opening my laptop to look at the piece I’d started on World Water Day, I got a Facetime call from my sister in California. She was still in bed, and, waking up and seeing the news, called me to see what I thought.
Of course, I have nothing really to add to that conversation of horror, of terror, of the inevitable unknown that can have life altering consequences. I know that if it wasn’t for the grace of God, it could be someone I’ve met, someone I know, or someone from my family passing through the airport or using the subway, like it could have been the same in Paris or where ever any acts of terror have taken place. We chatted for a few minutes about the world we’re living in, a world with millions of displaced people, people without work, a population on our earth that is larger than all the people who have ever come before us. People with differing religions and political stances, people who can’t seem to get along. A world driven by money and competition.
I know that most of us will shake our heads solemnly and feel lucky that it wasn’t us and go on with our day, or the rest of the week, month, year, silently angry for whatever security solutions will be put in place to follow. We’ll probably see, for example, even more security than ever before at places where people gather en mass, so catching a flight will become an even greater burden of time than it already is. Each of us will become even bigger paranoids than we may already be.
But silent anger does no good, and, from the looks of things, violence isn’t working either, it only makes things worse. It makes no sense to protect the status quo if the status quo is broken. It’s time to make radical changes. What those changes should look like, I don’t know. I just know that everyone needs to bring this discussion into their lives and refuse to push it on the back burner.
Because even on the back burner, eventually the liquid will evaporate sooner or later, we’ll have a real fire on our hands.