Yesterday was gorgeous here on the island.
The sun rose over a lowering tide, and I was later than usual to answer the call outside.
I took a walk around, and ended up at the small cliff that marks the edge of our land, giving over to a small cove of sea.
A gorgeous early September day, the sky a bright blue.
Just as it had been, at the same time of day, on September 11, 2001.
I’d planned on writing a piece about the day that changed so much for so many… not sure what direction it would take. So I sat on the bench-shaped rock at the edge of the land and took a deep breath.
The sun was bouncing off the water, some areas so bright I couldn’t look directly at the reflections.
The birds called to each other, in love or warning depending on their moods.
And I considered that day sixteen years ago.
The old images flashed in my memory, the way they do any time I quiet myself to remember. It always starts with disbelief, as waitresses skitter about at our favorite local diner, nervously conveying the news of the moments…
A small plane flew into the World Trade Center.
It wasn’t a small plane.
They think it might be on purpose.
Oh my God, the Pentagon.
It was like rapid fire news… pop. pop. pop.
I remember being irritated. I didn’t want my news from these familiar, normally smiling women who welcomed me and poured coffee into comfortable mugs that fit perfectly in my hands while I considered an omelet over pancakes (or the reverse).
I needed to get home.
I needed Peter Jennings to tell me what was what.
But when I got home I didn’t want Peter Jennings to say what he was saying at all.
And then there was the sitting and the staring and the phone calls and the worrying and the kids coming off the bus and…
Suddenly I was jerked out of the broad and global and horrible, and back to the present.
What was that?!
A teeny stream of water in my peripheral vision as I gazed out across the cove.
To the world beneath me.
The silty sandy naked-due-to-the-receeded-tide bottom of this little cove was…
There it is again!
It was spitting.
And then another… and another…
And it dawned on me.
The clams… no, wait, more likely the muscles… beneath the sand are having a spitting contest!
It went on for ten minutes. And I am not sure of the rules, but I am telling you that the one on the left seemed to be incapable of waiting his turn, and the ones in the middle were real slackers.
Once the contest seemed to be over (the dude on the right won, big time), I made a mental note to google how they spit (It’s all about the adductor muscles, which are the main muscular system in bivalves (Wikipedia, The)).
Then I found myself feeling a little guilty for being sidetracked from my reverent observation by four spitting mollusks, and I nudged my mind back to the day.
The blue sky.
The perfect early September morning
Just like it was that day.
The tears crept in, and rolled out.
Time began to unravel itself into the day.
Which became… interesting.
On my walk back up to the house, there were suddenly dragonflies just everywhere – wHizzing by as singles and couples… there was a lot of coupling (I tried not to ogle).
On my walk to the driveway later on, I couldn’t help but notice the bright red apples on the tippity tops of the trees. And that the ones on the ground made the entire space smell like apple cider, and fall.
In town, a friend announced a move toward a more balanced life – a creative one centered around her family – and I got to feel her quiet joy in a hug.
JoHn packed himself up and flew himself down to New Orleans, excited to see Sam.
Sam checked in to make sure John took care of himself on the way down, a son looking out for his Dad.
I made Granny a favorite meal, and we watched two episodes of her new favorite show – Outlander (and we giggled and looked away at all the steamy parts).
All these extraordinary, ordinary things… once again, they grabbed my heart and held on… and made themselves known.
Yesterday was a beautiful day.
A beautiful day to remember.
And a beautiful day to live.
I found myself feeling like an agitator, a rebel.
I didn’t write about it.
Instead I wrung every bit of joy, wonder, remembrance, and gratitude I could out of yesterday… giving what I could in return.
It was my subversive act of quiet rebellion against those who would attempt to forcibly mold the world with hands and hearts of hate.
I totally did it.
I joined the mollusks.
Spitting in the general direction of darkness.
With a smile on my face.
Thanks for readin’
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