We've been blazing through this country so fast, it was a nice change of pace to be able to stay in one town for a whole weekend. Not that you can really slow down in New York, but we did let the city sink into our skin a little bit! When we first arrived it was culture/city shock (and engineering shock- with all the bridges, tunnels, vertical parking structures, even trapeze units right next to a main highway...)
And then it was the subways and tourist activities, getting a local flavor and the feeling of being with so many people. We did manage the subway system just fine, even with closures and construction on the weekend- though we were a little more interested in seeing the sights above ground rather than under.
And then the whole city start to grow on you. On one of our above ground adventures, on a free shuttle going to the ferry, we quite unexpectedly passed by Ground Zero. Because it wasn't on our agenda for the weekend, I was a little surprised to have it just jump out at us like it did. I thought... what is it doing, right here in the middle of the city?? (Let me pause here to recognize, I'm quite aware that this is a very silly thought. Of course my brian knew it was "in the middle of the city", but since 9-11 I have come to think of the ground as some kind of separate entity, something you must make an effort to go visit. Which I realize is a very accurate metaphor for the movement 9-11 had done in my heart, as well.) All of us vividly remember the tradgedy and if we force ourselves to recall it, it is there and available for us to visit. But accidentally passing it in New York made me realize what an integral part it is for the people here... for the lives lost, the change in the skyline, for the daily reminder of its tradgedy and reconstruction.
The main reason I even noticed it was because there were signs saying "This place is special"
and "Please keep it that way".... I stood up as we passed and couldn't help but be in awe... letting the far off little "place" in my brain suddenly take full residence in my heart. A tear came up from the overflow, and I turned found myself looking into the eyes of my curious, confused daughter. realizing I needed to explain what exactly this sight meant, I went into the story that has been told before (usually during security lines at the airport, explaining why it must be so) and then saw a similar transformation in her eyes, one of understanding in theory, to actually seeing in reality- making the most direct connection possible- straight thru the heart.
So for this I would like to thank the people of New York, for letting countless people reside and visit and learn from you, to experience you, and grieve with you.
please let us remember, more closely and more actively in our hearts.
" For everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven." Ecc. 3:1