I shouldn’t be writing this. I’ve got a proposal to write. But I had to pause this morning and consider what happened eleven years ago today, on a September morning that had a similar blue sky. I suspect this brief pause will make my proposal writing stronger.
On some anniversaries of the tragedy, I’d been focused on bringing people together to remember and serve, as described in this Social Capital Inc. post. But today, I’d blocked the time to get some solid writing done, so found myself with a more solitary observation of the day. I read and shared a bit online, and noted 8:46 a.m. was designated as a moment of silence. I decided to take more than a moment, and go for a little walk around Horn Pond.
I soaked in the bright, sunny day, and remembered. I considered what I might draw from the tragedy and its aftermath.
I believe this:
We best remember those who lost their lives by savoring our own. Taking time to appreciate the beauty around us, hold those we love a bit closer and make a greater effort those whom we don’t know or even fear.
I saw a mother walking a toddler. From the stroller, a beautiful rendition of “Rock a bye baby”, innocent to what happened eleven years ago today.
I heard a jet so high overhead in the blue sky I couldn’t see it, but took comfort in the distant, defiant roar.
I reflected on a powerful conversation yesterday with Robert Lewis Jr. of the Boston Foundation. Recalling his powerful stories that illustrate the lingering injustice and inequity in our cities, I thought more about the community and world I hope to see in ten years, and considered what small part I might play in bringing that world into being. Robert told me about how he organized an impromptu vigil near the home of a young woman who was recently taken from this life through violence. And the family of this woman, still in state of shock to be sure, actually prepared and served food to those who came out to support them. If they can find such strength, surely I can do more.
I walked around a most peaceful place, knowing that violence and suffering are still far too present in our world. But this walk filled me with hope and energy. Nature’s healing water a source of comfort, the sturdy trees a testament to our own power to withstand terrible trials and keep growing.
I recalled this prayer from the Dalai Lama:
As long as space endures,
as long as sentient being remain,
until then, may I too remain
and dispel the miseries of the world.
This anniversary reminds us of a terrible tragedy. But when we pause and reflect on it, it can help inspire us to make the most of the time and people we have. And that is a compelling way to remember.
Originally posted on my personal blog.