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Remember, Aurora means 'dawn'

Jul 26, 2012 - By Betty Starks Case

Our Colorado neighbors might take some comfort in that

Everyone has probably heard all they wish to hear or can absorb of the horrible theater shooting in Aurora, Colo., last week. But I'd like to add a new thought -- one I haven't heard from television news media, counselors or therapists.

Did you know the very name of the city -- Aurora -- is the name of the ancient Greek goddess of dawn? Although officials spoke comfortingly of hope, none that I've heard have noted the relevance of dawn to the city's name.

The thought could lend strength and purpose to aching hearts.

Aurora, the Latin word for dawn, announces a new day, a new chance to make things better in our world; perhaps a new message to assure our faith in humanity, to seek its potential and live up to it.

Does a statue of the goddess Aurora exist somewhere in the city? If not, let's build one to remind us all -- those who live there and those who come as visitors -- that this is a city that lives in perpetual dawning.

I'm sure Aurora's citizens are already inspired with many ideas for a memorial to those who lost their lives or are still suffering. I envision an action involvement, an organization perhaps, depicting and encouraging the promise, the potential of the better part of man -- like a new dawn.

My understanding of this came from the tragic manner of my father's death some years ago. Such an event -- or the larger one of Aurora -- can open searching senses to the promise of a new day.

Staying with my mother to help her adjust, I found my own adjustment weak and near failure until that early morning experience.

Alone in the living room, I sat looking out the big picture window. The sun had just begun to peek over the horizon when unanticipated words stormed my mind. I grabbed a pencil and recorded the words as fast as I could. It came out like this:

I lay on the couch in his resting place; sat reaching for him in his chair; in the closet I stroked his old scotch cap. I heard, 'Little girl, I'm not there.

"But I live --

"Watch for me in the sunrise; listen for me in the wind; breathe me in an alfalfa field; touch me in fertile spring earth. Walk with me in the mountains; hear me sing in a cool flowing stream; dance with me when music plays; and hug me in my children."

I must relay this to Mother, I thought; the essence of him felt so free.

She folded me close in her arms and said, "I know. He's been singing to me."

The rhyming wrapped itself easily around my father's message. It was he who taught me to love poetry, often talking to his small children in rhymes.

He lived with a deep love and respect for the Earth, a conscientious steward of God's gifts. So it also seemed natural to receive a message of hope through nature.

I realize this experience may sound ethereal or other-worldly to some.

Well, maybe it is just that. Who knows all the secrets of dawn?

Before I end this, I realize I could run into a brick wall or worse when I tout the wonders of morning. Dawn portends a difficult time for many. I've never understood why. If we've treated our bodies right and had a good night's rest, why shouldn't the new day look like a welcoming time with new things to experience?

Or is it all in our heads? If so, who put it there?

And why are my mate and I are so upbeat in our view of morning when compared to many of our peers? Did our country fathers create some sense of "morning wonder" to rouse us for monotonous daily chores?

Or are we overloaded with serotonin, the neurotransmitter that regulates mood, appetite and sleep, popularly thought to contribute to feelings of well-being and happiness?

Whatever the explanation of our reaction to morning, I'm forwarding to residents of Aurora and Colorado, with love, my literary reminder that their home is the goddess of dawn, a city of hope and promise, heralding the birth of a new day.

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