I hadn’t planned on writing today.
Then I went for a walk on this beautiful, blue-sky, September day and, as often happens, words and images started gathering into piles, arranging themselves into thoughts I wasn’t aware of earlier.
I starting thinking back to a similar blue-sky day, eleven years ago. About how we, as a country, were stunned into confusion, then silent shock, then railing grief.
I was thinking about our little girl, barely two, who had no idea about evil and destruction in the world. Who, on a neighbor’s television, saw a plane fly into a skyscraper during the endlessly replayed footage, and saw nothing more than blue sky, airplane, buildings.
About a tranquil field in Pennsylvania that cradled an explosion.
About earthquakes in Tokyo and Haiti.
A tusnami in Indonesia.
Hurrricanes in Louisiana. And in Vermont.
Lives and landscapes changed until they are unrecognizable.
The small, personal catastrophes that each one of us endures, that threaten to flatten or harden parts of our hearts.
But they don’t. Not forever.
You think you’ll die of a broken heart.
But you don’t.
The fields regrow. The rivers settle back into their banks. We go about rebuilding, reshaping, remembering. You forgive some things. You make your way around the things that you can’t forgive so that you can still laugh, you can see that blue sky and think, “Today will be a fine day”.
On my walk, I saw two turkey vultures riding the thermals overhead. They were looking for someone, something doomed. But it’s not me. Not today.
An inscription on the clock at Storyland, an amusement park for under twelves, brazenly echoes the old popular song, “Enjoy yourself. It is later than you think.”
Well, yes. It is, but there’s still time.
It’s not dark yet.
Beautiful. Just beautiful.