Sep ’02 – entry 2

Remembering

A year ago today, I remember being asleep in my bed in my apartment and hearing the phone ring. Dashing out of bed, I picked up the phone – ready to yell at the person on the other line for waking me up too early – only to hear my mom’s voice on the other line telling me to put the news on and see what was happening. I sleepily went over to my t.v. and turned it on only to see something that was totally unbelievable. A plane had hit one of the towers of the World Trade Center in New York City. I slumped back into my sofa, the hesitant twilight of dawn seeping in through the blinds, and watched what felt like the most surreal and unfathomable event in my life unfold. That smoking tower on the television was an inescapable image. No matter how many channels I flipped to, it was there standing as a monument of confusion for the American people, we didn’t know if it was an accident or if it was an attack. Then a second plane hit the second of the two towers, and suddenly all became clear. The horrible truth was that we as a people were under attack. A purely civilian building filled with citizens was being shot at with a civilian plane full of people. People were the target and the weapon. And yet the macabre vision continued. Americans clung to their televisions across the country, united by the technology that no longer funneled entertainment into our homes, but instead projected the stark truth that we as a people were about to see. The second tower went down in a dark cloud of destruction, and quickly thereafter its brother fell too. Two of the tallest buildings on earth, pillars of the American adventuresome spirit and unending drive for achievement were felled, and thousands of innocent souls were taken with them.

To this day, that image is still fresh in my mind. And this morning, on 9-11-02, I could not help but get out of bed dreading what I might see on the television. I flipped on the set, this time in hope of seeing something uplifting, and I was rewarded with images of survivors, personal tales from people who escaped in time, the personal stories of small business owners who have managed to pull their tiny shops back up from the rubble around the WTC, images of firefighters who mourn the deaths of their friends who died simply for trying to save lives. Yet there was a cathartic feeling to all of this. It was as if a year of sadness had come to a close and now we as a people could rise up once again and rebuild the very spirit that those two towers represented. A year of sadness, loss, lost jobs, a depressed economy, of emotional and economic bruises and shattered dreams had come to a close. And now sitting in front of my mom’s t.v. set, without my apartment, without my job, but with a new understanding and an even more determined spirit, I know that we as Americans can rebuild those towers, not in physical form, but in spirit. We as a people will soar to new heights breaking barriers and reaching new limits, just as those two towers did when they were first built.

The attack on American hit me close to home because a week or two prior to the attack, I was on a plane leaving New York, having received my life-reading from my involvement in Palo, and I had looked out of my window on that plane at those Twin Towers. Something inside of me new that they were special beyond their size, and inside I knew I had to look at them. Little did I know, that would be the last time I ever saw them.

So here I am a year later, with a deeper spiritual connection than ever before, and the understanding that often the difference between a catastrophe and a miracle is just one’s perception. While last year I saw the catastrophe unfurling before my eyes, I now see the miracle of people being brought together, an entire nation changed and awakened to their place in the world and their impact on other people, but most of all, an understanding of the strength of spirit that we all have to survive and overcome all odds.

Next Chapter>>> THINK RICHLY

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