On Friday I was at the Washington State Swim and Dive Championships, at the Weyerhauser Pool in Federal Way, with our small town swim team. The girls did a great job and every race that they’d qualified for at districts, they also qualified for finals. None in the top eight, but all in the top 16.
The parents and our young women were excited and delighted. The pool is Olympic size with international flags hanging in two parallel rows along the roof. I love the flags and was admiring them. My daughter and I went to that pool for the first time when she was 8, for the National Junior Synchronized Swimming Competition. We volunteered to help at the competition.
Hearing the news of more bombs and shootings later in the day, I felt terribly sad. But there is hope in peoples’ kindness: in the culture of girls’ high school swimming each team does a cheer at the start of the meet. And the tradition is to do a cheer for the other team.
Finals started with cheers before the National Anthem. I asked my daughter if the cheers were for the other team and she said, “No, not at the State Competition.”
I am not cheering for anyone who has committed violence. But I am cheering for the voices of tolerance and love and peace and refusal to generalize hate on all sides. I hope we can all remember to cheer for the other team.
Mozart Requiem: Confutatis lacrimosa