I know Easter has passed, but the memory of that day this year has still so much significance for me – and the resurrection of a parched pear tree as a symbol of restored hope.
On my way to Europe, where teaching for two months – and visiting a friend and lovely places in between, to be revived myself – I had only a single day to spend with my dear friend Nancy in NYC. We could have done anything, but what felt most right was taking the subway to see Ground Zero and visit the 9/11 Memorial. Nancy and I had taken this same trip twelve and a half years earlier, on October 6th, 2001, when the rubble that was left of the buildings was still smoldering. Those memories are seared into my heart and soul.
We made our way to the area and inside, to see the memorial sites built on the WTC “footprints” now made into waterfall fountains that start at ground level and dive into the depths of the earth.
The rims are surrounded by the names of the fallen from that fateful day. Flowers lay strewn to honor birthdays and pay a tiny tribute on many of the “too many” engraved names.
Movies are shown to detail the events and share stories of helpers and survivors… and the inspiring story of the parched pear tree.
In the terrible aftermath of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 the workers found a burnt, charred, severely damaged Callery pear tree, mostly dead, but with a few branches still showing signs of life. Out of the rubble they lifted the tree, replanted it in a nearby nursery and began the long but fruitful process of nursing it back to health. Named the “Survivor Tree” it now has come back to the site to thrive – a reminder of the force of life, and our human strength and resiliency in the face of tragedy as well. I carry this pear tree with me now – I have a photo of it in full blossom on a card.
Nancy and I both experienced the heart-wrenching reality of 9/11 again – twelve years later… a forever scar. It was Easter – a day celebrating Resurrection. We could feel the energy of pain and destruction of so many lives still looming. So much loss, grief, death… as well as the blue sky – forever blue, wide and spacious, holding vigil – including all and beyond. In the midst of the noisy crowd, silence.We dig deep, trauma digs deep into us; and our human-divine design, when we have the right support to be nurtured back to health, restores us. Humanity knows such heart-breaking suffering and pain. I, you, we find our way – eventually – to restoration, transformation, and evolution. You, as a therapist, give yourself in midwife-ing this “birthing anew” process – bearing witness to the depths of so many people’s lives and loving, nurturing them back or into the truth of themselves. It touches me. May we all honor the sacredness of our journey together, in whatever way we are intertwined; therapist and client, partner to partner, parent and child, or friend with friend.