Ottawa, two months later

“The world is indeed full of peril, and in it there are many dark places; but still there is much that is fair,

and though in all lands love is now mingled with grief,

it grows perhaps the greater.”

~J.R.R. Tolkien, The Two Towers


Parliament Hill, Ottawa, Christmas Eve 2014

I’ve stood in the same spot a hundred times before. But this time is different. It’s my first visit to Parliament Hill since the violence of October 22.

As I look up at the lights flashing across the Peace Tower, I can’t help but think about how much physical and emotional damage was done that day. There was the tragic loss of life, as well as a loss of innocence. Others live this every day. And that is the most troubling thing of all.


That was two months ago. Tonight, Parliament Hill is a peaceful, happy place to be. It is as open and welcoming as it was before that terrible day. Around me I see children playing and couples embracing in the glow of the holiday lights. My daughter runs ahead, eager to get close to the lights. Her words cut through the thick fog: “Mommy. This is the best Christmas ever.”


Here tonight, I decide to pack away my fears.


Wishing you all a peaceful and happy new year.


  1. I have just come down for my first coffee of 2015. A new year. A quick peek at my computer and I find your thoughtful and hopeful message. We really do have so much to be thankful for and such a responsibility to help make sure that we promote peace and love and understanding in everything we say and do. Happy New Years and thank you.

  2. I spent much of that day texting with a dear friend who was in lockdown on the Hill. I worried for him- obviously- but also for what might happen as a result of the events of the day. Very pleased to see that we haven’t resorted to irrational fear and that we are keeping our House of Parliament OURS- accessible and open to the public. Lovely post, Booksy. Happy 2015. May it be filled with peace and progress. xo

    • Thank you for your kind comment. I had a hard time getting this one out – it took me 2 months of conflicting emotions. I guess I just needed to go to the Hill and see how I felt. I am happy it is still a safe and special place.

  3. Dear Anne, How could I have missed this post? The photos are beautiful and your story so touching! I have seen the the parliament building at night in the summer with the light show. Such a great place to be with such a relaxed atmosphere of young and old having a good time. It feels like it was like that on New Years Eve…and than of course you think back to the horrors of two months earlier and my heart goes out too to the family of the young soldier. We must continue and bring as much good in the world as we can! A beautiful post Anne, thank you for the link!! xoxox Johanna

    • Thank you Johanna! I had a problem when this was posted, it seemed to disappear and did not show up in the wordpress feed.

      I am still trying to stay optimistic, it is not a given with recent events. Still, hoping for better days ahead.

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