Eight years ago, I was a wide-eyed first-year college student in Manhattan 2,800 miles from home and ready for my new life. 25 days into the adventure-- September 11. As I slept in my room 2.5 miles away, the towers were struck, fell and with them went the existence we all knew before. From my window, it was a clear blue sky and all seemed calm as anyone might understand if they looked north on that day. With phones lines down and blocks of buildings muffling sound, it was quiet. But when I woke and walked to the end of the block, I could look straight down 7th avenue and see that the world had changed.
For the next many days, I walked around the city and took photos of all of the memorials and alters covering each inch of New York: Union Square, Washington Square, churches, sidewalks, windows. . .and the Imagine Circle at Strawberry Fields. Somehow, even alone in the city, it felt less frightening to be out and witness the unity of New Yorkers than it did to hide away.
Sadly, I do not have the pictures with me. They are in a box in a garage somewhere buried. But I did find others' photos of what I saw through that time--the evidence of love and hope that exists. I know it isn't always visible, but those days many years ago made be trust that it is.
May your life always be filled with both.