Lost and Found on Hallowed Ground.

“The more you lose yourself in something bigger than yourself, the more energy you will have.” ~ Norman Victor Peale

As I watch the lone police man walking through the deserted streets under the too bright halogen lights, I feel a sense of wonder.

My hotel room overlooks the World Trade Center Memorial and reconstruction. 4 giant footprints of buildings and memorials.

Hallowed ground.

As I watch him in his fluorescent yellow vest, I am jolted out of my own melancholy and fatigue.

My eyes burn, and the glare from the lights illuminates the mud, dirt, and materials that lie in waiting to build the new building.

Just beyond this giant gaping hole, is 2 more holes, only now instead of wreckage, those giant holes are filled with water, an ever flowing waterfall marking the lives of everyone lost on that fateful 11th day of September, 10 years ago.

The World Trade Center Reconstruction Project and Memorials

I was here that day, so close to where I sit now. A moment of reflection and memory fleets through my heart. The chaos, the sirens, the dust, the fear, and now 10 years later, the peace.

Hallowed ground.

My own melancholy and fatigue around E’s neurology appointment from which I am so very far away and the news that is not so surprising, difficult each time, she is doing well, but the future is unknown. Each time I hear these words, my heart feels and fears the worst.

But then I look down below me, and know that the “worst” is the memorial that lies below. The one where nearly 3,000 people rest and their family members are left only the memories they had until that day.

This hallowed ground is bigger than me. It gives me energy to know, and remember, this news is not the ‘worst.’

The police officer looks up, almost feeling the intensity of my stare. I got lost watching him and was found on Hallowed Ground.

I am linking up to YeahWrite on Lovelinks…if you are so inclined, on Thursday there will be vote over at Lovelinks and if you are up for click back here and go vote! A little perspective can make anyone’s day ‘anewfavoriteday!’

34 thoughts on “Lost and Found on Hallowed Ground.

  1. Dear Shannon,

    I am moved by your post, Lost and Found on Hallowed Ground. Thank you for writing it.

    May E thrive in the river of endless love you give her and may you find the peace and strength to continue writing. The world needs voices like yours.



  2. My husband worked in the South Tower and was thankfully at a meeting out of town (unexpected, planned the night before) that horrific day, his firm lost 67 people. We went to the Memorial shortly after it opened and it was breathtaking, cathartic, energizing – thank you for so eloquently writing about this hallowed ground.

    1. Oh my goodness Meg. Thank goodness indeed. There are so many stories like that. I was meant to me at the Millenium Hilton that morning at 8:45 walking in as a fuselage was landing on the entryway. I am so relieved (the best word I can come up with as I held my breath when I first starting reading your comment) that he is ok and still with you. Many prayers to his colleagues and their families. I can only imagine what your own visit must have been like, thank you for sharing.

  3. I hoping the best for your little girl and your whole family. It’s really good to have perspective, especially because it helps us appreciate the here and now, but it’s still hard to not feel fear for your own child.

  4. I remember vividly where I was that day. Thankfully, I was at work in Boston – but I was supposed to have been on one of those flights. In a weird twist of fate, I had decided to return from Europe a week early and missed the deadly flight.

  5. This is a beautiful post. Truly. You are right that getting lost in something bigger than ourselves puts our lives in perspective and makes us remember to cherish our blessings.

    1. Oh my goodness, I would have been too, just thinking about the birthday note it is a lot, I suppose it moves the experience from being reading Names to the real sense of loss. It’s such a beautiful place and peaceful even as the city bustles around it. Thanks for sharing and for visiting, I love your blog…it always makes me laugh.

  6. I was at the memorial when we were back in nyc at xmas–cold, wet, rainy. Appropriate somehow, even though 9/11 was itself a perfect fall day. It’s an amazing memorial – reminds me that art has tremendous power to heal and to create reflection and thought. A question: there were people when we were there taking pictures of themselves in front of the waterfalls/reflecting pool. I thought it was inappropriate–it’s not a “tourist attraction” like being in front of the statue of liberty or something…it seemed…unthinking somehow. What do you think?

    1. I can see your visit in my mind and yes so appropriate. More appropriate than it felt on that day. It was 28 degrees and windy last week in the city an even that felt more appropriate. It’s so funny that you ask that question because i was thinking that same thing while there. I can understand in some ways why people want to capture their time there as it changed our history in many ways and many of these people weren’t “there” in the same type of experience we but that doesn’t change the fact there are souls buried there.

      I was thinking about it a lot because I went for a walk while I was there and I had volunteered just a few days after the attack at the Trinity Church giving food and drink to the rescue workers. As I walked by the church I realized I had no pictures of those days, but yet I could still vividly see all the signs and posters of missing loved ones and dust everywhere with fireman and police officers bustling everywhere. I had the pictures in my mind. I thought about what I would have done on the pictures. Would I have smiled and in that moment I knew it wasn’t right. I feel the same about the Memorial. I can’t imagine someone wanting to smile in a photo there in the resting place of 3,000 people. But like you said, I suppose perhaps the healing and peace of the art they have created makes it warmer for these people. I don’t know the answer but for me there are only the pictures I take with me in my head.

      I so appreciate your comment Deborah in more ways than I can articulate…perhaps it also helps my healing to know there are others that think the same as me.

  7. Somehow this post didn’t end up in my email, but I happened to decide to write tonight after going a long stretch without writing, and there you were on my fav blogs list waiting to be read. 🙂 I thought quite a bit about the events of 9/11 this morning. I had a cousin near the towers when they fell and an aunt at the Pentagon that day, luckily on the opposite side of the hit. My step mom was had just been diagnosed with stage 4 brain cancer and had undergone emergency tumor removal surgery just days before, in vain, and was at home with my dad resting. I was “holding down the fort” at his office. Last year I wrote about it on my blog, as well. Now, 9/11 sort of sneaks up on me…daily life is full…and the date comes around and says, “Don’t forget.” I think one of God’s greatest gifts is the gift of time, however, and that movement forward and beyond is positive. In other words, I don’t bash myself up over not dwelling so much on what happened on that day, but I honor the memory instead with some quiet time when it arrives and gratitude that our country and people perservered. Thanks for sharing your experience, Shannon. As always, it is beautiful. And, about E…all of our futures are unknown, which allows us to live in the light. She is illuminated by your love and your nurturing, and she shines brightly through your words and photos to us all! XOXO Many hugs to you. -SWM

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