Autumn in the North Cemetery.

Sixty miles west of Boston, Massachusetts there is the small New England town of Sturbridge. Located at the junction of I-90 (The Mass Pike), and I-84 it has become known as the "Crossroads of New England". The town was first settled over 300 years ago, and like other small New England towns it has grown just enough over the years to be in a difficult place today. How do we embrace the future without forgetting how we got to our present? How do we attract the right kind of growth, and maintain who we are? And, what about our culture out here in Central Massachusetts?

These pages will cause one to think about how to protect what we have, our future direction, and how to move on in the very best way.

Those thoughts, and other ramblings, will hopefully inspire more thought, conversation, action, and occasionally a smile...

...seems to be working so far

Monday, September 12, 2011

My Tenth Anniversary Moment

An iPhone photograph of two deer families in a meadow at dusk.

Last evening, after a great birthday dinner for Jennifer, and after the house had become quiet again, Mary and I took a drive.  We drove into Holland, and then started heading north towards Brimfield.  Suddenly, at the corner of Holland Road, and Five Bridges Road Mary yelled, "Stop! Stop!".  There, in the field to our right, were six white-tail deer.  A couple of fawns, half the size of two large males, and two does.  Just grazing in the field, a couple of families out for the evening.  Seems, like we weren't the only ones out enjoying the air last evening.

The two little ones pranced, and ran about the field, and all around the older deer.  Mary handed me her phone to grab some pictures.

The full moon was just then appearing over the tree tops.  The sun was breathing its last light of the day onto the meadow.  The scene was beautiful, so filled with life.

After a few minutes, one of the females raised her tail, exposing the brilliant white underside, and started to skip towards the tree line, the two little ones were still leaping about until another female joined the first near the edge of the woods.  The fawns spotted the alarm signal of the raised white tail, and joined their mothers.  The two males, stayed behind watching us as they had been doing all along.  The wind may have shifted a bit, and not only were we being seen, now our scent confirmed just who we were.  The two families stood at the tree line, and we got back into the car.  Vigilance, and wisdom in the meadow last evening will insure their play for another day.  A pickup truck had stopped further up the road, and its occupants were watching the show with us until that final bow at the tree line.

All those deer prancing in the meadow on a late summer evening was one of those moments one does not forget.

Life.  It's all around us, on us, and in us, and it will taken away from us someday.  Always too soon. Still, for those left behind life does continue, and the world keeps on spinning.

Those deer are testament to that piece of simple philosophy.  They're still here.  Despite that we felt our world was ending ten years ago as it did for thousands of others, life did continue.  We did carry on.  We grew stronger, wiser, more vigilant, cautious, but we did not let our losses stop us from living.  We knew that if we had stopped living we would have lost.

So, we lived.  We directed our sorrow, and anger toward the need to insure it would never happen again, to care for those left behind, to carry on the legacy, and memory, of those that have fought to make us safe since then, and were no longer among us.  All require life.

Last evening, as we stood on the side of the road, and watched those deer living, playing, and being still here, it was didn't take much to realize that we had made it, too, and had not squandered life.  Our mindset enabled it, and others had insured it.  Many had given their life to insure it.

That was my 9/11 anniversary moment.  It came late in the day on the edge of road alongside a meadow, and next to my wife.  Couldn't think of a better place, or company, to experience that moment.

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