For those of you who have never waited at the finish line of a race for someone you love, it’s a time of excitement, a time of cheering as every runner makes their way to the end. The elite come through quickly, early. After comes everyone else–those running because they love to run, or because they have a reason to run, not because they expect to win, and they are cheered along as well, if not more, than than the frontrunners. There are children waiting for parents, parents waiting for children, friends waiting for friends. There’s a lot of caring waiting at a finish line.

Massachusetts is a small state. I live in the center, and I can reach either end in roughly ninety minutes, depending on traffic. I’ve lived here all my life, aside from that year I spent being born and learning to crawl in Maine. On Marathon Day, the streets of Boston are filled with people from all over the world, but they are also filled with my neighbors, my friends, because this place is my home, and these are my people.

I am heartsick for this world. I am heartsick over the violence everywhere, over all the lives lost in this tinderbox of anger we live in now, just as I am every day. Just as I am for our planet and the destruction we heap upon her as well.

But today, I am heartsick for this small area of the world that I call home, and for everyone left in fear and pain and grief in it.