Not This Day

Something terrible is about to happen.

That is one thing you can be sure of. People die, planes crash, accidents happen. Someone will randomly and inexplicably leave this Earth, today. A family will receive devastating news. A mother will look at the bed where a child until recently slept. A person will wonder where the money will come from to make it through the month. A lifelong friendship will be shattered. A day, a beautiful day, will be torn apart when, for no reason at all, someone never seen before does something horrible and unexpected, changing many lives, forever.

Not this day.

It will not happen on this day.

The words don’t make it true, that is for sure. The words hold no power to stop tragedy from happening. But the words are ever so important.

Not this day.

How else can we be expected to try? To get up in the morning? To allow the day to ripen and bear fruit, if we think those fruit are already rotten.

No, we are adults, all of us. We know, beyond a shadow of doubt, that terrible things happen. That they will happen, somewhere, and sometime soon.

But not to us. Not to ours. Not this day.

Or, if they do, we will rue the horrible day yet fight on anyway.

King Henry V:

Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more;
Or close the wall up with our English dead.
In peace there’s nothing so becomes a man
As modest stillness and humility:
But when the blast of war blows in our ears,
Then imitate the action of the tiger;
Stiffen the sinews, summon up the blood,
Disguise fair nature with hard-favour’d rage;
Then lend the eye a terrible aspect;
Let pry through the portage of the head
Like the brass cannon; let the brow o’erwhelm it
As fearfully as doth a galled rock
O’erhang and jutty his confounded base,
Swill’d with the wild and wasteful ocean.
Now set the teeth and stretch the nostril wide,
Hold hard the breath and bend up every spirit
To his full height. On, on, you noblest English.
Whose blood is fet from fathers of war-proof!
Fathers that, like so many Alexanders,
Have in these parts from morn till even fought
And sheathed their swords for lack of argument:
Dishonour not your mothers; now attest
That those whom you call’d fathers did beget you.
Be copy now to men of grosser blood,
And teach them how to war. And you, good yeoman,
Whose limbs were made in England, show us here
The mettle of your pasture; let us swear
That you are worth your breeding; which I doubt not;
For there is none of you so mean and base,
That hath not noble lustre in your eyes.
I see you stand like greyhounds in the slips,
Straining upon the start. The game’s afoot:
Follow your spirit, and upon this charge
Cry ‘God for Harry, England, and Saint George!’

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