I heard about the attack on Sunday morning. Trail news travels fast, borne like a relay baton uptrail for days, for miles. I’m fine. The attack happened about a week behind me. I’d been hearing about the attacker since Tennesee. I haven’t heard who the hikers were. It’s unlikely I knew them.

Monsters are everywhere. The solutions to these events lie far upstream, out of our immediate control.

My prayer for everyone involved is that they know how very well they did. That they aren’t tormented by hindsight and second guessing and should-have-dones. We all make the best decisions we can with the information that’s available to us at the time. That’s what life is.

My prayer for the rest of us is that we don’t choose to live in a cage because of the monsters outside. That we don’t become smaller, tighter, harder, more afraid. Cages are easy to build, but almost impossible to dismantle.

So yes, hug your loved ones—but with joy in the now of them, not fear of impending sorrow. And more important, go out today and do some thing, some large or tiny thing, that makes your world a little brighter, bigger, expansive. Let us all learn to be bigger than our monsters.