Today I can’t help but remember where I was almost 10 years ago on September 11, 2001. It was 8am, I had just dropped our three-year-old son at his new pre-school in a magnet school 30 minutes away from my home and office. Upon leaving, his pre-school teacher gave me a book, welcoming our family into the school community. I tucked Michele Pace Hofbauer’s Couldn’t We Make a Difference under my arm, drove down the thruway to my office, and started my day. I had not turned on the car radio.
Soon my husband called telling me of the devastating news of a plane crashing into the Twin Towers and as he was relaying this a colleague walked into his office revealing the additional traumatic event of the Pentagon’s attack. I heard his co-worker say the words through the telephone receiver before my husband had time to repeat them. What to do? We were devastated, scared, we didn’t yet know the full scope of our country’s violent attack.
Our son’s pre-school was on the way home from my husband’s office, our son would be safely picked up. I had clients scheduled, I needed to wait. What I chose to do next effected my experience of that day on a cellular level. Remembering the book I took a moment of reflection. Sitting in my cushioned, floral blue easy chair I started to read. As salty tears streamed down my face I felt an inner knowingness that we would be okay. The book healed me, it gave me the strength of hope to take the next steps toward safety and protection. It was the perfect balm at an unjust time.
I will quote from the book’s introduction,”Couldn’t We invites children of every nation, race and culture to join hands in overcoming difference. Its message is that of tolerance and acceptance, understanding and empathy, courage and hope. It suggests that children have a responsibility to themselves, to each other and to the earth. Beautifully illustrated and written in simple verse Couldn’t We offers a vision of a bright future. It opens a small window into a world where everyone lives in peace and where every child has the power to make a difference.”
Creativity and wellness message for today: Open your own small window and make a difference.