A Time of Innocence

It was a time of innocence, wasn’t it?
The before times.
There are moments I wish
we could go back to those days –
I see the before-movies
with the towers in the background –
Working Girl, The Thomas Crown Affair –
from a time when the chief concern
was winning.

We were there a month before –
smiling and laughing with our
fellow tourists, and the people of
New York, walking the same streets
as the best-of-the-best writers, actors,
business people, artists – the energy
and rhythm of the city filling us with
ambition, and possibilities.

Before we left I gave my unused subway
tickets to a businessman – I think he said
he worked in the Towers – he thanked me.
And a month later we watched
the towers fall, looked at our souvenir
mugs with the skyline emblazoned
on them – and knew the world had changed.

We returned two years later, wondering
what we’d find. Would our New York friends
be beaten down, lost, defeated?
No. We found resolve. We found generosity.
We found people who’d been tested
and come through with more than
“winning” on their minds.
We found nobility on the streets
of New York.

We can’t go back.
But we can honor those who died
that day by living our lives
in a way that brings peace
and healing to New York,
to our planet.
– Karen Molenaar Terrell

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The sons in New York, NY. August, 2001.

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