Saturday, September 11, 2010
Wonderful family & friends, hello!Today is a notable date in U.S. history, as we all know. It's impossible not to think about the World Trade Center every time September 11 rolls around. So, while thoughts of the U.S., past, present and future, jumbled their way through my head, I decided to do the one thing that would clear my mind: take a walk.
I'm fortunate enough to live five minutes from Phoenix Park, one of the largest fenced parks within any capital European city. If you want to learn more, visit: http://www.phoenixpark.ie/ Needless to say, I made my way to Phoenix Park for some pondering time.
To begin, Ireland is incredibly gorgeous country. Even within Dublin, there's a certain timeless beauty to the bustling streets, so elegantly cobblestoned years ago, and the friendly people that surround you. But Phoenix Park, friends....well, it's stunning. Today was no exception; the sun was shining the entire time I was out (minus five minutes, just enough to get me wet on the walk home!). The startling green color that so typifies Ireland was in full force today, and Nature was overwhelming me with feelings of peace, love, and bliss.
And that's where it all clicked for me on this of all days. Ours is not the only country to have suffered great tragedy, nor are the terrorists responsible the only perpetrators of such crimes. We have had a history, as a species, of violence, death, and destruction; and, though it pains me to say it, we have a future of it awaiting us, as well.
But the extraordinary thing is the resilience of all the qualities that make human beings great: hope, love, trust. Even though we've been knocked down countless times, we have rallied together through the strength of love and hope to conquer yet another day. As I walked through Phoenix Park, I was reminded of the collective attitude within the U.S. following 9/11. For once, it wasn't a line from a country song to say you were "Proud to be an American." It wasn't just politicians running for office who wore American flag pins on their lapels. It was everyone expressing their love and appreciation and belief in a nation momentarily torn asunder: the young, old, Republican, Democrat, one and all. It was beautiful, and it was just one true showing of the potential of our species to be utterly and truly great.
On this day, I chose to remember that uplifting feeling of love that soared through me in the aftermath of 9/11. I was an American, I was part of a group with a common interest, I was damn lucky to be there. Even though I love Ireland and Europe, I know that the U.S. will always be my true home, and I wouldn't have it any other way.
Thank you, "my fellow Americans," for showing me the beauty in humanity, and thank you to Phoenix Park for providing the astounding natural vistas that inspired that blissful thought. There's hope for us yet, everyone, and it leaves within each of us.
Many, many hugs,
(I took these photos on my walk today :]])