The Sound of Sorrow

I think today will come back to me as a memory of sound.

There is a boy who lives on our street. He is about 12 years old and has, I think, severe autism. He often spends the late afternoon sitting in a big swing that hangs from a tree in his front yard.

He has no speech ability. But we hear him making sounds as he swings.

Every once in a while the sounds he makes stand out as different from other days. Sometimes, you can tell that he has had a good day. There is sense of joy in the strange singing coming from the boy on the swing.

But on this tragic December day, as we all watch the news about the elementary school shooting in Connecticut, he seems to sense something is not right with the world. The sounds I hear from the swing, as the sun sets, give voice to a deep sorrow, an impotent rage and a fear for my children that fills me.

It is as if our shared anguish is exploding into the world through his voice. He speaks for us today, though he says no words, because on a day like today, words mean nothing anyway.

The sorrowful sounds from the swing – I will hear always when I think of the children of Sandy Hook Elementary.


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