Lock Down…?

Originally posted October 12, 2006

The times, they have changed. “Lock out,” I understand. It’s a union “thing” or an anti-union “thing” – I was once a teacher and I paid dues to a union – I believe in community support. Even now that I am self employed – I know that it is my knitting community that supports me and I hope that I support them in return – everything that goes around – comes around.

But a lock down?…. this is not what your landlord does when you don’t pay the rent. His is closer to a lock out – of a different kind and for different reasons, but still you are on the outside of a closed door.

You, like me, yesterday, may not know what a lock down is….ask your children, your grandchildren or your neighbour’s children…they, chillingly, know.

Once there was a time when we were in school and there were fire drills – great for a break from a gruelling math test – not so great in gym shorts in the middle of February – still it was one of those things, we prepared for, that rarely, if ever, happened. There were false alarms – mischievous souls, bored with routine, would pull the alarm and run. There were even bomb scares, when I was teaching. At the sound of a P.A. (public announcement) code, we would search our area, with as little disruption as possible, and life went on. We never had “lock downs.”

Lock downs, alas, are now routine drills, like fire alarms, that schools enact in preparation for an “inside intruder”. Students at the sound of the alarm know to lock the classroom door; keep the drapes open and the lights on – so that the police can see in- and to crouch under their desks only when they hear gunshots.

They may even be called “lock ins”. I refuse to imagine a “lock up”. Time to disappear into a needlework project and try to put everything into perspective.

I am in awe of the Amish who reacted so, quickly and so generously in their time of need to the needs of others in their tragedy. It speaks volumes. Time, maybe, to unlock our souls.


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