Tuesday, September 11, 2007

September 11th

Today is September 11th. Hearing the date said out loud ushers in a sense of melancholy.

Today I want to take time to stop and remember the events of that day six years ago - not only to remember but to honour those who tragically lost their lives and their friends and families who were forever changed.

So ofen I go to work and sit there heads down at my computer for nine or ten hours - focused on the task at hand and secretly counting down the hours until I can escape. Today I do not want to race through my day as if it is a chore. I want to savour each minute of the day. To feel the sadness and to give thanks for my abundant blessings.

I decided at lunch today I would run an errand and head up to Encinitas to a funky bead shop called "Beads, Crystals and More". The owner behind the counter is greying and his thinning hair in a long pony tail. He has half a dozen beaded necklaces around his neck - and clearly the 60's were good to him. I enter a little nervous and out of my element - but with clear focus on my mission. My sister gave me a cool pendant last winter. I put it on the moment I opened the parcel and have worn it non-stop ever since. After months of continuous wear, the leather chain is worn and tattered and about to give way. The bead store lady, who looks like a modern day flower child, greets me and and in short order a new piece of leather is cut. In under 5 minutes and less than $5 I am heading out the door with my pendant around my neck.

pendant necklace

Since I have made the trek to Encinitas - I decide I might as well stay for a bit and enjoy lunch. Right across the street from the bead place is an outdoor restaurant called The Potato Shack. Perfect! I am in the mood to stray off the healthy eating path and enjoy some fries. It is a beautiful day - wonderful opportunity to sit outside to eat and enjoying the funky Encinitas vibe. I lived in Encintas for several years - this little mid-day trip is reminding me how much I miss the ecclectic grove here.

As I sit down to lunch I remember once again that today is September 11th. A quietness comes over me and I am transported back six years ago. I remember my drive to work that morning. I was rushing to make a mtg but found myself stuck in traffic in an area where there should not have been any traffic. I was grid locked for more than an hour - yet I never turned on the radio. There was this weird inexplicable feeling that something was terribly wrong - still I resisted turning on the radio to find out what. It wasn't until I arrived at work that I found out about the planes hitting the towers and that the weird traffic chaos was because the military installaions were on high alert and personnel had been ordered back to base. I remember that night coming home from work. Almost everyone had been sent home from work earlier in the day. Our company somehow pretended it was business as usual and so we worked out the day. When I left work there were no cars on the road, no one walking on the street, it was deserted. Everyone was huddled in their homes eyes glued to the T.V. watching the footage of the planes hitting the towers and the walls and walls of missing person posters. I too went home and turned on the TV and sat mesmerized by the images. In the six years since I have never again been able to bring myself to watch the footage from that day.

The lunch hour has gotten away from me and it is time to head back to work. I decide to drive back along the coast. There is something magical and healing in the beauty of the ocean and sand bluffs of our coast. As I drive I say a prayer for those who lost so much 6 years ago. I pray for peace and with a grateful heart give thanks for the hope of a new day.

Tonight I will watch the film The Guys. It the true story of a Fire Chief in NYC in the days following 911. No political overtones or shmaltzy sentimentality - just the true story of everyday people in extra-ordinary circumstances.

Site of the Twin Towers - Christmas 2006

Wall of Missing Person Posters at the WTC Visitors Center


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