Sunday, September 11, 2011

Capturing a sunrise, a 9-11 meditation

Love this miraculous world that we did not make, that is a gift to us. --Wendell Berry

This is a photo of a sun rise I took a few weeks ago. It's not a fantastic photo by any means, but it represents a rare moment of peace in my life, a moment of watching something I have not really stopped to see in many years. After all, there are deadlines to meet, bills to pay, and all that jazz. Even now, I often wake up in a panic thinking about it all. But, today is a day of remembering, remembering that we are still here, remembering that day 10 years ago when we got the wind knocked out of us. We watched a door slam hard, shutting behind it our innocence and perhaps our naive "that could never happen here" thoughts out forever.

It's a different world, now. There is no going back. We hear talk of threat levels and wonder what that means for us. We see crazy ebbs and very few flows in the economy and wonder what that means for us. We hear chatterboxes on television trying to tell us to beware of this or beware of that and wonder what that means for us. In all of it, it can be hard to find a moment like the one above, a moment that brings clarity and makes me really see what truly matters.

We have all heard the stories of 9-11 survivors who were headed off to work, were on autopilot in their morning routines, as we all are so apt to be, when something, a sick child perhaps, made them stop and take a few minutes longer. In essence, we are all like those survivors. If nothing, the tragedy should not make us always fear the fact that this could happen again, but it should remind us of our fortunes, should make us stop more often and take in a breathtaking sunrise or take in, as I saw yesterday from the window of my food cart, a tender moment when two young parents are enraptured by the beauty of their sleeping infant. With the victims of 9-11 and their families in my heart, I choose to see more of these moments from here on out. I choose to capture more sunrises, to capture more smiles from my teenage children (yes, I am aware that means I have my work cut out for me), choose to worry less, to love more, to sing more, even if I can't carry a tune. Yes, our world has changed, but it can change again. Peace.

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