Last night at this time my house was loud, bustling with the happy sounds of friends gathering, watching the countdown until New Years 2013.
Kids were running all over and some teenagers hung out in the dining room enjoying the silliness of their youth.
What happy chaos it all was.
Tonight the house is quiet, calm, everyone sleepy, even the dogs.
A while ago I took out the dogs for one last time for the night.
I marveled at how peaceful, cool and clear the night was. For a few moments everything in the world felt perfect, still, safe. I took a deep chilled breath and listened to the nothingness as I watched my breath exhale from my mouth. The stars were clear and bright.
There are barely any cars out on the roads and my neighbors are slowly shutting off their lights, going to bed, marking the end of the first day of 2013.
I said a prayer asking God to watch over me and my family and friends and keep us safe in the New Year.
I wondered was this serenity I found myself standing in the calm before the storm, or was it a glimpse into a more peaceful, loving new year.
I hope for the latter.
But within moments of coming back into the warmth of my home, I heard on the news that Chicago's first murder of 2013, has already occurred. My heart sank.
I'm still hopeful, the peace I felt tonight is more the norm for 2013.
I hope to write more stories about unexpected joy, love and peace and fewer about the darker side of life.
Until next time, Love each other!