Today is the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks on the Twin Towers. It brings back memories for me because we were holidaying on the Amalfi Coast. We’d driven down through France from our home in Dorset, without a care in the world. Italy had always been a favourite place of ours; so much so we got married in Florence and now live full time in the beautiful Le Marche.
However, this day was very different. It started off as most of our days had; lazy coffee on the veranda overlooking the sea, a slow stroll into Positano, munching croissants, oozing to the brim with fresh cream, for breakfast. It wasn’t until we went into a cafe later that morning to buy a bottle of water that we realised something had changed. Everyone was crowded around one tiny TV that hung from a pillar in one corner of the room. The air was filled with rapid fire Italian we just couldn’t understand and it was difficult to see through the wall of heads raised to the screen as looks of horror and disbelief creased already wrinkled skin.
Later, when we understood the violent attack we stumbled back to our apartment and made calls to family, who at that time lived near to New York. Thankfully they were all okay but thousands wouldn’t be. The atmosphere changed. Many Americans were holidaying at the same time and spent the next hours trying to secure flights home and get in touch with family and loved ones. The bustling town became deafeningly silent in its grief for the lives lost and as the full nature of the atrocity became clearer.
In the years following we marked our respect on this day by visiting the Blue Pool, a flooded disused clay pit, in Purbeck Dorset. It is renowned for its beauty and the colour of the water which can change from bright blue to iridescent green depending on the conditions. Despite it’s attraction for families it was an extremely contemplative place to remember those were affected on this tragic day.
Here at home, I will take a few moments on the bench beneath a willow tree and think how lucky I am to sit and contemplate; to sit and remember.