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Monday, September 14, 2015

Planting convictions


Like many people, I spent the weekend reflecting on 9/11. I measure it most in the pregnancy of my third child. What kind of world, I wondered that day with horror, am I bringing this baby into?

I feel for all those who lost loved ones. I myself was very removed from the tragedy; my closest tie was an in-law's brother working in New York, but whom we established early on was OK. Still, I felt a personal pang deep inside and couldn't shake my fear. What kind of world was I bringing this baby into?

My friend, who was also pregnant on 9/11, recently visited the memorial and took this photo.

Later in the week on the way to my job at a wedding reception center, I passed a row of flags staked for blocks along the curb. Dozens of flags, dancing in the breeze of the late summer day. I wept.  I didn't see the people who lived in those homes, but I imagined them standing next to those flags in a show of solidarity. Politics didn't matter. We can go forward. Together. It will be OK.

My daughter arrived, past her due date, on Election Day. (I didn't make it to the polls that year.) 

In the 14 years since 9/11 my circumstances haven't changed too much. My daughter is older, sure, and I am ever grateful that we have a home, a piece of land, education, and doctors to help us when we are broken. I am mindful that people all over the world lack these. I tremble at the horrors others must face. What kind of world do we live in? Sometimes I get discouraged that I can't do more to ease their suffering, that my sphere of influence is so tiny. 

As I sat to write this my phone rang with automated messages from our school district about a police lock-out order issued and lifted earlier today following an area armed robbery.  What in the world?

Yet, I want to see the good. This afternoon when my daughter comes home I will hug her and be excited about her ballet audition.  I'll watch her go to the garden and pick yellow pear tomatoes, her favorite snack. 

I want her to know that every time I plant a tomato seed, it is because I have faith it will sprout. I want her to know that every baby and every wedding represent hope of a bright future. I want her to look forward to making her own big choices  -- and trust that she lives in a world where planted trees and planted flags speak of promises worth championing. 

3 comments:

NOT THAT KIND OF FARMER said...

I am really interested in what you wrote here. This looks absolutely perfect. All these tinny details gives me a lot of knowledge.

David said...

Jennifer, we must not lose our hope for the future. Without hope we perish. I too am thankful for what is and hopeful for the future. Our children will have challenges just like our ancestors did and we did. They will look different but just the same I have confidence they will endure the struggles and become better for it, just like we did.

Have a great yellow pear tomato picking and child hugging day.

Jennifer said...

Thank you, David!