Today is the 15th anniversary of September 11, 2001 attacks, and it is a tradition for me to write a blog post as a sort of memorial.
I mean no disrespect when I write that this year you will not find me deeply immersed in replays of that terrible day.
There were years where I was. Deeply immersed that is. In all the sadness that surrounds a day when with perfect precision thousands of innocent people died and millions more lost some measure of their personal freedom.
In years past, I’ve written down everything I can remember about that day. Where I was, who I was with, what was said, who was on the radio, how vulnerable I felt being so far from home, what I did in the hours afterward. I’ve written it all down, even though I wasn’t at ground zero, nor did I have any family or friends there. But I was affected. If you were alive and living in North America that day, chances are you were too.
In response to what happened, over the years I have vowed some things, like to not let people with bad intentions interfere with my pursuit of happiness, and to promote an environment of peace.
This year however, I’ve decided that I am moving on to other things. What that means exactly, I don’t know. But, it’s time for that.
There is significant literature out there from experts and others on how to move on after experiencing a loss. Much of it is about mindset. Allowing yourself to get through the stages of grief. Choosing to be happy. Faking it until you feel it. Getting busy. Building new memories. Closing the chapter.
On one of my Bruce Trail hikes recently, I came upon a beautiful sight. It was a field of blackberries, thousands of ripe ones. There were so many that our walk took twice as long that day because we had to stop and sample them. They were so sweet they tasted like cotton candy, free for the taking. As I sat on a stump with my hands full of them, stains on my shirt and with purple teeth, I started thinking about what got me to that point at this point in time. I felt good, almost giddy. Certainly there are many things, but one of them was the decision to return to Canada after 9/11 and to experience all of what Canada offers. For that, I am very thankful.