Posted by: Lisa | September 10, 2011

My Reflections on 9/11

I was living in Hawaii on September 11, 2001.  That morning, I woke at 7:00 to these words blaring from my radio alarm:  “The World Trade Center has collapsed.”  I bolted out of bed and turned on the TV which greeted me with images of the burning Twin Towers.  Since Hawaii is six hours behind the east coast, the Towers had already fallen and everything was “over” in a weird way.

I stood there thinking,  “This is it.  This is the end of the world.”  I wondered why the heck I was living in Hawaii so far from my loved ones.

Then, I noticed the silence.  My apartment was located on a hill overlooking the Honolulu International Airport where there were normally always planes coming and going.  On this morning, nothing – no sounds of jet engines.  It was eerie.

I was scheduled to teach a Step aerobics class at 9:00am which was the last thing in the world I wanted to do at that moment.  I called the gym to see if they still wanted me to come in for class.  They said yes.  As I drove to the gym, I wondered where I would ever get the energy and motivation to teach.  My class usually numbered about twenty people.  On this day, there were seven – the folks who didn’t live on any of the military bases which were all locked down.  Not knowing what else to do, I began class with a moment of silence for all who had lost their lives.

The images of the collapsing Towers remain seared in my brain.  I am still also moved to tears by the heroism of the passengers on Flight 93 who, despite knowing their own death was at hand, ensured that their plane went down in an unpopulated area.

On the 1st anniversary of 9/11, I was stunned by the beauty of the two powerful beams of light emanating from Ground Zero into the nighttime sky.  It seemed to be the perfect tribute to those who’d lost their lives; it also reminded me of the transcendence of our human souls – of our union with God who is Light.

Today, on television, I saw (for the first time) the beautiful fountains built into the foundations of the Towers.  Since childhood, I’ve always been attracted to fountains.  Some people may not like the image of anything “falling” at Ground Zero – but for me, the water (like the beams of light) is a perfect image.  Where once there was falling debris, smoke, ash (and yes, human bodies), there is now falling water – an image of purity, new life, Spirit (God).

No matter what pain or tragedies we endure, there is always hope for new beginnings.  The seed dies in the earth but it is nourished by water and light to become a tall, resilient tree.  May each of us, our nation, and our world grow together in Light and Love.

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