A Bhutan Christmas – an ode to Sandy Hook (Melbourne, Australia)

By Ian Cochrane, December 18, 2012

Sometimes I sit and think, pondering the luxury of an unquestionable faith in something; to know that innocent kids killed in a pre-Christmas tragedy will somehow find a better place.

St Pauls, Flinders St, Melbourne

From a cathedral of sticks I gaze across at the towering neo-Gothic spires of St Pauls; the site of the first public Christian services here, back in 1836

In the passing city throng I see small glowing faces, cheeky eyes alight with expectation at the approach of Christmas and the wonders each day invariably bring.

I hear squeals of delight, their mischievous laughter. Excited steps echo, of tiny feet; for why would you walk when you can hop, skip, run and jump? Life is always today.

I hear the silence.

I hope for enough Bhutanese puppies with white tips on upright wagging tails; the white tips are bobbing lights to guide these Sandy Hook schoolkids through the darkness to wherever they need to go.

Sometimes I just sit.


  1. Madilyn says:

    Ian, this is so beautifully and poignantly expressed. You’ve captured the essence of the tragedy made even more horrific because it happened to little children at the time of year most exciting to them…“small glowing faces, cheeky eyes alight with expectation at the approach of Christmas.” Then “I hear the silence.” I hear the silence too, the stillness of lives so vibrant gone in a violent minute. Sandy Hook upset me more than any other of the many (far too many) violent and senseless gun-related deaths in my county. So many victims so very young (plus the brave teachers also killed), so many grieving parents and loved ones. I was stunned afterwards when new gun safety legislation was not enacted. If that was not the time, then when? There is a group called Sandy Hook Promise started by parents who lost children that day working on education and passing new gun safety laws. I support that group. It’s an uphill battle fighting the powerful gun lobby. I applaud Australians for enacting gun safety laws and I hope that one day the US will follow your lead.

    I am moved by the image in your last paragraph of the Bhutanese puppies with white tipped wagging tails guiding the Sandy Hook school children through the darkness. Thank you for this heartfelt ode to these children.

  2. Annie says:

    Nicely put, Ian. I don’t know what it will take for the U.S. to enact stronger gun laws, but we are clearly not there yet. It truly saddens me.

  3. dalecooper57 says:

    Beautiful Ian, a true tragedy which should have begun a huge debate on a subject that seems to get buried by special interest groups and political expediency.

What do you think?

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