I’ve been pretty uncommunicative of late. It’s just that I really don’t like September. I know it seems strange to not like a “month”. It’s really just a way that we mark the passing of time, of years, of seasons. Nevertheless, I really don’t like it when the calendar brings me to this place.
What is really strange is that I know its coming. That right after the hot August nights comes the cooler air heralding the onset of the Fall season. September sees the temperature drop 10% almost overnight. The pool in our neighborhood gets locked up, and the previously welcomed breeze quickly changes to a cooler and more energetic wind that knocks the leaves from the many trees surrounding me.
Oh, I know the reasons. September seems to be when many hurtful things have happened in my past. One, my first marriage, which when ended, left me an insecure, emotionally drained single mother of four. The loss of my dad, in 2003, which was totally unexpected, found me having to acknowledge my own mortality and that yes, I was indeed getting nearer to “leaving the building”, with so many dreams left undone.
Of course, you know the saddest one. On September 11, 2001 I was a project manager for a financial firm in the heart of lower Manhattan. The office located about 3 blocks from the World Trade Center. I’m not going to go into all that I saw that day, or how scared I was, or the shock and horror of even the next few days, when I was, at last, home. After all, I DID survive, right? Except for this nagging distaste for September.
So, now you know why I don’t like this month.
As the years have passed, and healing continues, I am trying, today to “forgive September”. Given all the ugliness, bigotry, and hatred that now surrounds the event that, for a time, brought us all together, it’s not easy. Some of our “leaders” are now politicizing what was a time of unity. Even so-called “Christian” folk are saying, proposing and doing horrid things.
Husband and I were talking last evening, as the “Tower Lights” were on for a moment, reflecting brilliantly off the clouds above. The place where the light reflected looked like what I’d seen in countless movies just before something ominous was to happen. As we discussed current events, our lives now, and the political divide, the view from the balcony seemed more and more representative of all that was REALLY accomplished on that morning nine years ago.
Never mind the 3000 that were lost, or the buildings that fell, or even the scars, emotional and physical. As we fight about buildings, books, and the “right” kind of government-the bad guys won. They have us at each other’s throats, and we are divided. Dare I say it? I imagine that those who attacked us on 9/11/2001 are looking at the news and congratulating each other “mission accomplished”.
Quoting from scripture (Luke 11:17), Abraham Lincoln said it best; “A house divided against itself cannot stand”. Of course he was talking about slavery, but isn’t the fear-mongering also a type of slavery? Isn’t feeling that others are evil because they are different a kind of slavery? And isn’t looking back to “the way it was” also a prison? Isn’t “my way or the highway” a kind of fence that prohibits moving forward, and keeps us from the peace and unity that really IS what we desire?
Ah well, I’ll be glad when September passes.