In search of story

September 11.22: Coping, but barely


It’s a cool, dense September rain, grey as the sky, its splashes welcomed by the bowed heads of late summer’s garden. It is noisy, it is quiet, back and forth, to make me listen.

The images of the day, the somber pageantry in England, the shock and suffering of 9/11, tumble about in my head, looking for grounding.

At my front door, out of the rain’s refreshment, the potted pineapple mint looks longingly outward, poor thing, that cannot move itself. I step out into the cool drone of the shower, and there, against the sostenuto of the rain, the cricket’s aria. A piercing oneness.

The mint looks grateful as the drops wash over it, and I stand, stopped.

Were you ever surprised, dear reader, at how the tumble in your head was stilled by something so simple and ordinary as cricket song?

15 thoughts on “September 11.22: Coping, but barely

  1. Thank you for these poignant and profound words.

  2. A day of sadness indeed Maureen. Perhaps it’s fitting that the weather too is so grey and somber.

    Many is the time I have hurried to the back yard, usually bringing Murphy out, impatient that she hadn’t yet found the right blade of grass to water, my head swimming with things I want to get done, and darned if those crickets didn’t start serenading me. Maybe scolding, but it sounded like serenading to me! What a nice way to get your head cleared of all the busy stuff we carry around.

    So glad you could move the mint where it could enjoy the rain! It will pay you back twice over!

  3. What a lovely poem on this sad day.

  4. Beautiful words on a rather depressing weekend. I watch the news in the morning, eat breakfast, and go outside to work for a couple of hours. The music of the crickets and the birds, and even the distant traffic, seem like balm for the soul as we remember.

    • Agreed. We have had rain almost all day, and there were times it was its own music. Those hours working outside sometimes work miracles, I think. Today weighs heavily.

  5. The natural world being impervious to what’s going on in our world often surprises me. We have many bowed heads over here. The Queen quoted ‘Grief is the price we pay for love’ in response to 9/11 and now her words are being used to comfort us. You have a very fine looking mint – one of my favourites.

    • I’ve been watching with some consternation: there is too much talking! I want so badly to hear the music and the sound of the moment, even if — or especially if — it’s silence. But the news people think they have to fill every moment themselves. Fortunately, they broadcast the entire service at Westminster Hall today without commentary, and I was very grateful for that. It was beautiful. Yes, many bowed heads. Those words about love and grief were inspired.

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