Sunday, November 27, 2011

Thanksgiving Day Plus Two

We had a great Thanksgiving Day.  Drew and Em were here and although it sometimes seems like there should be a crowd around the table, we were OK this year with just the four of us.  Mark and I were just home for a short, lovely trip to New York City so we had plenty of hustle and bustle and were ready for a few quiet days.

While we were in NYC, we decided to visit the new Ground Zero Memorial.  It was kind of a whim.  On Monday, the museums are closed so we wandered down to the tip of Manhattan.  It turned out you needed a timed ticket, something we would have known if we had planned ahead but it was all improvised.  We walked over to the temporary headquarters and got a ticket without much trouble.  The 'Occupy Wallstreet' protester had been removed from a block right there the day before and the police were out in full force waiting for them to return.  Part of me wanted to hang around and watch the drama unfold but we didn't have time to get arrested so instead we spent the hour before we could enter the memorial in St Paul's Chapel, which has been continuously open since 1766.  We walked through the doors that George Washington walked through on the day of his inauguration, which seemed like a very American thing to do.

Once inside the Ground Zero Memorial we were struck by the beauty of the day and the fountains.  There really is a sense of shared grief and peace.  As we watched, a young woman, accompanied by an older couple, make a rubbing of a name. All of the 2,819 deaths are memorialized on the fountains.  We were glad to have made the time to visit.

Back home, it feels like a long way off and yet, a part of all our lives.  We ate our turkey and counted our blessings.  It's best not to be afraid of joy as the holidays begin.  Embrace it, I say, or maybe the theme this year should be 'Occupy Happiness.'

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