It took me nearly 15 years to go back again. I’d returned to work just a few blocks away the week after it happened. And once, I’d passed by the area when they were building the new tower. Yet, I hadn’t been able to go there, right there where it had all happened that day. Not even when the new memorial was opened with its museum. It wasn’t time to go yet. Last week, I knew it was time. I had to go back again to remember. To remember that I must never forget what happened there. I had a date with love and hate at Ground Zero.
It was a horribly hot and humid summer day as we made our way from the subway in lower Manhattan towards the Freedom Tower and 9/11 Memorial at Ground Zero. My 16-year-old son and his friend were with me, taking a day to explore parts of the city yet unknown to them.
As we entered the fencing area around the Memorial, making our way closer, I could feel the memory of that horrible day returning. I could also feel the energy of the people who lost their lives, could “see” the ghosts flying around in the air wondering why people couldn’t see them.
Unbidden, tears began to drip out of my eyes and down my face. I fumbled in my bag for a tissue to wipe the flow. I was finding it hard to breathe, hyperventilating a bit as the energy of these souls swirled around me. Yes, I could feel you, dear ones. I called in my angels to walk with me as we made our way forward, breathing in and blowing out to infuse love into this space. The tears just kept coming as we rounded the fencing, and I saw the Memorial in front of me for the first time in the flesh.
We walked to the marble surround into which the names of those who perished that day were engraved. I found it unsettling watching smiling people taking selfies with the Memorial behind them, as if it was anything other than a gravesite for the many people who perished there that fateful day.
I placed my hand on the marble over names of men I hadn’t known, feeling them, feeling their confusion and their sense of loss for life cut short. I felt all of those who left us that day and, right then and there, I bawled my eyes out for every one of them, with people I didn’t know all around me, my body bent over with grief in the sunshine.
The boys stood quietly next to me, letting me feel what I was feeling, steady and reverent, as I remembered that day of hate and what hate can do. Remembering the hate without hating. Remembering that the only remedy for the flow of hate is love. In me. Through me. As me. I stood in love with those that died that day. I brought love to the souls still there who haven’t yet been able to cross over. And I sent love to the souls of the men who brought the hate that day and sacrificed their lives for no good reason.
I won’t relive here what that day almost 15 years ago was like for me in any detail. That story has been told, and my hate transformed. I will say that I was on the street downtown heading towards work and the World Trade Center area when the first Tower fell. As it crumbled to the ground, the sound was explosive and deafening. The debris, like a tidal wave, came rolling up Broadway towards me block by block. It was moving so quickly that I quietly accepted that I was going to die before it came to a stop about two blocks away.
As I eventually made my way north and west to the river to see what was going on more clearly, I heard on car radios what had happened. In plain view, I watched the second tower burn, people jumping to their deaths. I watched not knowing if my son’s father had made it out alive from the area near the Towers where he was working. Then suddenly, right before my eyes, the second Tower crumbled to the ground. And there was silence as hate smiled its insanity upon us.
Hate may have claimed victory that day. Yet, I believe Love actually triumphed. It triumphed in every one of us who found our way to rising above it and not allowing that hate to become hate living within us. This is the beautiful, healing grace of Love.
Love is life. Love is reverence. Love is reverence for life. All life. And hate wishes to destroy life.
While it is the responsibility of civilized societies and governments, under the rule of law, to both actively protect life and bring all those to justice who destroy it, we the people are the heart of the world. It starts within each one of us. Attend the heart!
It is not easy to see what you believe is hate without hating. Until it is.
Choose Love. Protect life.
I had a date last week with Love and Hate. Hate stood me up. Yet, Love came and walked with me. Love won/1.
Evolving to Love,
The Love Queen