I took urban walk this morning along Town Lake Trail. The dichotomy is revealing as I stood on the pedestrian walkway beneath six-lane MoPac freeway with its early commuters, the rumble and weight of thousands of vehicles shaking the fabric of too many tons of concrete to contemplate. I looked west to the trees reflected in the absolute stillness of the lake but for a few rowers dipping oars in the water, leaving expanding drops of circular waves before smoothly and rapidly gliding into the shadows. The air is heavy with humidity, the light grey clouds turning darker except for the glow of the sunrise on their edges. The crunch of runners’ feet on the dirt and gravel trail approach, then pass me, sweat already dripping from their shoulders. The doves and blackbirds and cicadas sometimes sing and click in harmony, sometimes become discordant, a cacophony of wild sound.
I contemplate this day in 2001 when two cities and a field in Pennsylvania were shattered. I imagine people walking along the trails and rivers and city sidewalks of those places, planning their days’ activities, lulled into the dailyness of their lives, before being shocked awake by blatant acts of terrorism. We should always remember that day: the lives lost or irretrievably damaged, the sorrow and the pain, even on the most perfect morning walk.