[Thich Nhat Hanh]
September eleven. Separately they are very ordinary words. Put together, for aeviternity, they symbolize the unspeakable evil mankind is capable of unleashing upon itself. I hope you paused today. I hope you took time to remember and to honour the victims – all the victims – those who perished and those who were left behind.
This is where I am writing my blog post today:
It is a lovely view but more importantly for me today, it is very peaceful and quiet (there’s not a soul around). Sitting here, it is easy to find peace in myself. But I feel guilty enjoying the sunshine, this view and this beautiful day. You see, I have a friend who I’ll call “Orchid” throughout this post. At this very moment, Orchid is at home, consumed by grief and nigh-on unbearable sadness because sixteen years ago today she lost her only child who was attending a meeting at the top of the World Trade Center.
Like almost everyone else, I watched the most horrific television coverage I will likely ever experience as the planes slammed into first the North Tower (8:46 a.m.), then the South Tower (9:03 a.m.), then the Pentagon (9:37 a.m.) and finally into the ground in Pennsylvania (10:07 a.m.). I was numb with shock, horror, fear and sadness. The world, particularly the western world, changed forever during those eighty-one minutes.
Much of the world has moved on; grown accustomed to the stringent airport security measures, perhaps visited Ground Zero, perhaps even taken a selfie there to share on social media. For most of us, although still a nebulous tragedy in our memories and our hearts, the shock, horror, fear and sadness have all faded. We remember very well but perhaps feel less intensely.
Not so for my darling Orchid. Not at all! However does she move on without the child she birthed, nurtured, raised and loved for thirty-nine years? More than half her life. I’ve never had children myself yet I know this to be an impossibility.
True that Orchid is a very busy woman. She lives her life largely in service of others, working hard to improve the lives of the people in her town and county. She is an activist of the first order. She champions the down-trodden, the marginalized, social justice, health care and acceptance for all. And she’s a kick-ass feminist! Technically Orchid is retired but she works more hours every week than most folk holding down full-time jobs. She is very social and does her best to meet up with her enormous number of friends as often as possible, but believe me when I state: This is all busyness! Not a day goes by that she is not gripped by sadness at least once. Not a day goes by that she does not miss her child who was clever and passionate and principled and destined for greatness. Not a day goes by that she does not grieve that loss, a loss that left a hole in her heart that not even the world’s most skillful cardiologist will ever be able to repair.
May you be safe from all harm.
May you be healthy and have everything you neeN.
May you be filled with loving-kindness.
May you live in peace and harmony.
With all my love, always! xx
“Love is all you need.” John Lennon’s song is eternally uplifting because of its enduring and always relevant message of love and peace. Today, in memory of the 2,977 souls who were killed sixteen years ago, please share a little love with someone who needs it. I fear you’ll not have to look to far to find that someone.
Peace In Oneself. Peace In The World
I wear Thich Nhat Hanh’s words around my neck. Each morning when I put on my medallion I am reminded to try my very best to live with intention. Intention to find peace within and intention to be peaceful with everyone I encounter. I believe in the possibility and the power of these words to change the world, one person at a time.
’Til next time, y’all…